News / Economy

EU Confronts Youth Unemployment Crisis

EU Confronts Youth Unemployment Crisisi
X
June 28, 2013 9:48 PM
The European Union has agreed to create a multi-billion-dollar fund to tackle its youth unemployment crisis, which has led to warnings of a lost generation. Even as the bloc struggles through an economic crisis, its expansion plans continue - with Serbia set to begin formal accession talks in the coming months. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Henry Ridgwell
The European Union has agreed to a multi-billion dollar fund to tackle its youth unemployment crisis, which has led to warnings of a lost generation. Even as the bloc struggles through the economic crisis, its expansion plans continue - with Serbia set to begin formal accession talks in the coming months.

In Spain and in Greece, unemployment among under-25s is running at over 50 percent.

In Portugal, there are lines every day outside the Angolan and Brazilian consulates, as job-seekers look for better fortunes in the country's former colonies.

It is a vicious downward spiral, says John Springford of the Center For European Reform policy group.

"When people have been out of work for a long time they tend to lose the skills that they have, they lose initiative, and also the social problems like drug and alcohol abuse can make them quite difficult to employ again," said Springford.

Unemployment in the EU, 2000-2013Unemployment in the EU, 2000-2013
x
Unemployment in the EU, 2000-2013
Unemployment in the EU, 2000-2013
Meeting in Brussels Friday, EU leaders agreed to spend $7.8 billion over the next two years to tackle youth unemployment. Herman Van Rompuy is president of the European Council.

"We know that reforms take time and results won't be immediate.  So we're also concentrating on launching actions with direct impact.  Fighting youth unemployment and helping SMEs [small and medium enterprises] access credit," said Van Rompuy.

There are about 5.6 million unemployed young people in Europe - and the money simply won't be enough, says economist John Springford.

"We're looking at about a thousand euros [$1,300] per person.  And the thing that we know about youth unemployment is that when unemployment is high generally, then youth unemployment will be even higher.  And so this kind of problem is best sorted out by macroeconomic policy rather than microeconomic tinkering," he said.

From left: Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso participate in a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels, June 28, 2013.From left: Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso participate in a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels, June 28, 2013.
x
From left: Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso participate in a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels, June 28, 2013.
From left: Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso participate in a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels, June 28, 2013.
European commissioners have described this week as a good one for the EU - after a deal was clinched on a $1.25 trillion seven-year budget for the bloc, ending months of argument between member states.

Croatia joins the European Union on July 1, while EU leaders agreed Friday to begin accession talks with Serbia no later than January next year.  European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso hailed the agreement.

"This is historic. Let's not forget what happened not so long ago in that part of Europe with one of the most violent wars we ever saw.  And now we will start negotiations with Serbia," said Barroso.

Key to the accession process has been the Serbian government's willingness to negotiate, says James Ker-Lindsay of the London School of Economics.

"There has been a tremendous transformation that's taken place over the past year since the arrival of a new government which many people thought would be a step back.  It had a reputation of being nationalist.  But in actual fact it's made a whole range of moves, so most importantly on relations with Kosovo, which has been a very, very tricky subject since Kosovo declared independence in 2008," said Ker-Lindsay.

Meanwhile Latvia gained formal approval Friday to join the eurozone on January 1, 2014 - becoming the 18th country to use the currency.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Paulo Roberto Mattos Luiz from: Brazil
July 07, 2013 5:31 PM
To invest in the export sector and sell to all countries in the world, big ones and small ones outside the European Union is the only viable solution to create new jobs for the youth. For the world to be a better place to live, all countries should be partners. Togetherness in business. That's the way.

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
June 28, 2013 7:46 PM
My son is now looking for a job facing the next spring's completion of university. It looks a bit better conditions for Japanese youth to get jobs than EU. I wish EU youth fortune and good jobs. Thank you.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9115
JPY
USD
123.92
GBP
USD
0.6554
CAD
USD
1.2443
INR
USD
63.800

Rates may not be current.