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

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters 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.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8957
JPY
USD
120.93
GBP
USD
0.6393
CAD
USD
1.2199
INR
USD
63.470

Rates may not be current.