Improving the Youth Guarantee programme
motion submitted by JERC and Juventudes Andalucistas and adopted in the 2015 GA in Aiacciu, Corsica
The Youth Guarantee program was initiated on April 2013 following the recommendations of the European Union Council about the Youth Guarantee establishment. The idea was to give opportunities to young people in order to continue their formation, and at the same time to reduce the rates of youth unemployment. After three years of this first document, with different implementations and results among the European countries, EFAy wants to highlight that:
A. the European recommendation, fixing at 25 the maximum age in order to be able to apply to the national programs, was not an ambitious proposal and it was too vague. It did not take into account the specific characteristics of youth in southern European countries, and neither the differences in the labour markets across countries, nor the high rates of youth unemployment and the difficulties of youth emancipation.
B. The initial funding provided by the EU for the Youth Guarantee Program was totally insufficient for it to solve the different problems at the long run, as it implies a big fraction of the population. Actually, the International Labour Organization estimated a need of 21,000 million instead of the 6,000 million provided, in order to correctly apply the program.
C. The EU has proven not to be aware with the context of deep economic crisis that is more pronounced in some countries; nor with the high unemployment rates the NEET phenomenon (acronym for “Not in Education, Employment, or Training”), nor with high early school-leaving rates.
D. The funding model designed, which intends the local governments to advance the money for the program, and at the same requires an extra investment, from these governments, for the Youth Guarantee program, was not a realistic approach, considering the budgetary situation of most European countries. Thus, in many countries the real investment is much lower than the budgeted one.
E. Nevertheless, this important measure, which has been set after the demands from the European Youth Forum and the different Youth Councils from EU member states, is being used by the different governments to serve their interests without even respecting the established rules in the different procedures and in the selection, hiring and development of these EU funded plans. On the other hand, the EU and the Specialized Commission on Youth Guarantee, after complaints by different youth organizations due to the continuous misleads in the program’s development, reckons that they give the funding without doing any control on the development of the project.
Thus, the European Free Alliance Youth:
1. Highlights the need to ensure active participation of youth, all around Europe, as main actors of the youth Guarantee Program. We ask the European Parliament and the European Union Council to take into account youth voice, and to include all the correspondent youth entities within the decision-making organisms on this topic.
2. Remarks the need for additional funding during the next years in order to be able to correctly apply the Youth Guarantee program.
3. Demands the European Parliament and the European Union Council to understand the Youth Guarantee program as an investment and not as an expense. The actual situation has an approximate cost for the EU of 150.000 million euros per year.
4. Asks for a program which really increases employment at the long run, as well as new useful active policies for employment.
5. Demands to take in considerations, as prospective beneficiaries of the program, of all young people aged between 16 and 34, as emancipation average age varies across countries.
6. Requires an expansion of the offers of the different programs, not only focusing on the “NEET” youth, but also focusing on highly educated youth that, because of the economic crisis, are infraemployed, or do not find a job related to their studies.
7. EU to set control procedures in order that the public funded programs accomplish the procedures and established requirements.
8. EU to impose sanctions on governments that do not respect the development rules of the Youth Guarantee program.
9. Demands EFA MEPs to deeply analyse the situation of the problem, together with the youth entities; and to work in order to improve the program and obtain the maximum benefits for the European Youth.