Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission
The conclusions of the 17 June 2011 Council meeting of Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Ministers on tackling youth employment(1) invite Member States to intervene rapidly so that young inactive people get back into education, training or the labour market within the shortest time possible. In this respect, the Council explicitly recommends an integrated approach similar to the ‘youth guarantee’ already developed in a number of Member States.
As part of the Europe 2020 strategy the Commission will focus on the situation of young people in each and every Member State in its country-specific recommendations for next year. The Commission also supports the Member States through mutual learning and exchanges of best practice under the Progress programme(2). The new ‘Young Opportunities Initiative’ announced by President Barroso in his State of the Union speech to the Parliament on 28 September 2011 will moreover focus on young people not in employment, education or training under two main strands: getting young people who have left school or training without a vocational qualification back into school or training, and providing opportunities to gain work experience for those who have a qualification but have not found work.
Provided the approval of the budgetary authority, the Commission would proceed in 2012 with the implementation of a pilot project on youth guarantees proposed by the Parliament.