Procedure : 2013/2673(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : RC-B7-0270/2013

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 12/06/2013 - 3
CRE 12/06/2013 - 3

Votes :

PV 12/06/2013 - 8.21

Texts adopted :


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PE509.912v01-00} RC1
B7-0279/2013} RC1

pursuant to Rule 110(2) and (4) of the Rules of Procedure

replacing the motions by the following groups:

PPE (B7‑0270/2013)

Verts/ALE (B7‑0276/2013)

S&D (B7‑0279/2013)

on preparations for the European Council meeting (27-28 June 2013) – European action to combat youth unemployment (2013/2673(RSP))

Csaba Őry, Joanna Katarzyna Skrzydlewska, Roberta Angelilli on behalf of the PPE Group
Hannes Swoboda, Stephen Hughes, Pervenche Berès, Alejandro Cercas on behalf of the S&D Group
Rebecca Harms, Daniel Cohn-Bendit on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

European Parliament resolution on preparations for the European Council meeting (27‑28 June 2013) – European action to combat youth unemployment (2013/2673(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 20 December 2011 entitled ‘Youth Opportunities Initiative’ (COM(2011)0933),

–   having regard to the question for oral answer to the Commission and the accompanying resolution of Parliament of 24 May 2012 on the Youth Opportunities Initiative(1),

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 5 December 2012 entitled ‘Moving Youth into Employment’ (COM(2012)0727),

–   having regard to its resolution of 16 January 2013 on a Youth Guarantee(2),

–   having regard to the conclusions from the European Council of 7-8 February,

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 28 February 2013 on Establishing a Youth Guarantee,

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 12 March 2013 on the Youth Employment Initiative (COM(2012)0729),

–   having regard to its resolution of 14 March 2013 on the integration of migrants, its effects on the labour market and the external dimension of social security coordination(3),

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas in April 2013 23.5 % of young people in the EU are currently unemployed, with the rates ranging from 7.5 % in Germany and 8 % in Austria to 62.5 % in Greece and 56.4 % in Spain, indicating marked geographical differences;

B.  whereas 8.3 million Europeans under 25 are neither in employment nor in education or training (NEETs); whereas these figures continue to rise, posing the risk of a lost generation;

C. whereas young people from particularly vulnerable backgrounds are at greater risk of exiting the education and training system without having obtained an upper secondary qualification;

D. whereas 15 % of children leave school without completing secondary education, and 10 % of EU citizens are living in jobless households;

E.  whereas the first indications that a young person is likely to drop out of school are an early warning sign of a recurring cycle of poverty;

F.  whereas in 2011 the economic loss due to the disengagement of young people from the labour market was estimated at EUR 153 billion, corresponding to 1.2 % of EU GDP; whereas this represents a serious social and economic burden;

G. whereas education and training policies can play a crucial role in combating the high level of youth unemployment and fundamentally support integration and participation; whereas more investment is required in vocational education and training, integration into learning structures, higher education and research; whereas up-skilling is essential to equip individuals for quality jobs in sectors of job growth such as green jobs, ICT and the care sector;

H. whereas despite high overall levels of youth unemployment, certain sectors such as the ICT and health sectors are finding it increasingly difficult to fill vacancies with qualified personnel;

I.   whereas currently many policies affecting young people are developed without involving those concerned and other stakeholders;

J.   whereas by virtue of their emphasis on practical skills, the dual system of vocational training and the combined academic-vocational degree courses employed in some Member States have proved their worth during the crisis in particular, keeping levels of youth unemployment lower by making young people more employable;

1.  Welcomes the fact that the European Council has acknowledged the importance of youth employment to Europe’s prosperity; urges the European Council and Commission to step up their efforts to combat youth unemployment, as a part of a wider move to promote social rights and to address social imbalances within the European Union; stresses that the European Parliament will closely monitor progress and observe whether the promised measures are implemented, especially as regards the Youth Guarantee;

2.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to take a rights-based approach to youth and employment; stresses that, particularly in times of high crisis, the quality of work for young people must not be compromised, and that core labour standards, as well as other standards related to quality of work, must be a core element;

3.  Points out that the internal imbalances between Member States, especially as regards employment and social indicators pertaining to young people in particular, are widening; calls for immediate EU action to correct these imbalances in the framework of the European Semester;

4.  Calls, in this context, on the Commission to consider the development of a scoreboard of common social investment indicators, especially regarding youth unemployment, comprising an alert mechanism for monitoring progress in Member States;

5.  Insists that the solution to the urgent problem of youth unemployment lies in an improvement of the overall economic environment, such as strengthening the single market in services and the digital economy, furthering trade through free trade agreements, and promoting the interests of SMEs and microenterprises whilst upholding fundamental social rights; stresses that the most efficient tool to fight unemployment in the long run is sustainable economic growth; further believes that special measures focused on young people are important but the key remains to ensure that the EU relies on a strong, competitive and modern economy; welcomes short- and medium-term investments such as the Youth Employment Initiative, while drawing attention to the lack of any long-term structural measures and the absence of necessary reform to enable education systems in certain Member States to rise to future challenges with a view to ensuring employability;

6.  Stresses the importance of enhancing voluntary mobility among young people by removing existing barriers for cross-border apprenticeships, traineeships and internships to better match supply and demand of work-based training opportunities for young people, particularly in border regions, and by enhancing the portability of pensions and labour and social protection rights across the EU, whilst taking the risk of brain drain into consideration; also calls on the Commission and the Member States to take all necessary steps to prevent the phenomenon of brain drain through sustainable measures which ensure that a good proportion of highly-skilled people in the labour force will either remain in their own communities or return to their Member States of origin so as to allow those Member States to achieve economic recovery and viable growth;

7.  Calls on the Commission to draw up recommendations on the feasibility of defining a common level of unemployment allowance in the EU in relation with the previous wages of the unemployed person; calls on the Commission, furthermore, to assess automatic stabilisers at EU level to absorb country-specific economic shocks;

Youth Guarantee

8.  Welcomes the Council Recommendation of 28 February 2013 on Establishing a Youth Guarantee; calls for the swift implementation of Youth Guarantee schemes in all Member States; emphasises that the Youth Guarantee is not a job guarantee but an instrument ensuring that all unemployed EU citizens and legal residents up to the age of 25 years, and recent graduates under 30, receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education or apprenticeship within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education; stresses in particular that Youth Guarantee schemes should effectively improve the situation of young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs);

9.  Calls on the Commission and Member States to develop clear objectives and indicators for the Youth Guarantee Scheme, in order to be able to effectively measure and evaluate the impact of this initiative; stresses that it intends to monitor closely all Member State activities to make the Youth Guarantee a reality and invites youth organisations to keep the European Parliament updated on their analysis of Member State actions;

10. Notes that Youth Guarantee schemes should be accompanied by a quality framework in order to ensure that training and jobs offered include appropriate pay, working conditions and health and safety standards;

EU funding

11. Welcomes the EUR 6 billion allocated for the new Youth Employment Initiative and calls for a frontloading in the first few years of the Multiannual Financial Framework to address youth unemployment and implement youth guarantees as a matter of urgency; emphasises that the costs of implementing youth guarantees across the eurozone are estimated at EUR 21 billion by the International Labour Organisation and therefore calls for the allocation to be revised upwards as part of a revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework; welcomes the extension of the eligibility group for the Youth Guarantee under the age of 30;

12. Further emphasises that the European Social Fund (ESF) in particular should be structured to enable the Youth Guarantee to be financed, and that the ESF should therefore be allocated at least 25 % of the total cohesion policy allocation; believes, however, that there should be an appropriate balance between EU and Member State funding;

13. Welcomes the proposed successor to the Progress Microfinance Facility included in the Programme for Social Change and Innovation for the period 2014-2020 as a valuable instrument also for young people, aiming at the creation of new, sustainable, quality jobs;

14. Emphasises that EU funding to fight youth unemployment is available before 2014 in particular by reprogramming available structural funds and making full use of the EUR 60 billion from the European Investment Bank as provided for in the Compact for Growth and Jobs; welcomes the reallocation and acceleration of EUR 16 billion of structural funds to support job opportunities for young people and to help SMEs access finance;

15. Calls on the Commission to actively ask for support and initiatives as well as other forms of cooperation with the private sector in tackling youth unemployment; encourages the European Investment Bank to contribute to the implementation of the Youth Guarantee, for instance by linking loans to the creation of jobs and training places, or supporting the development of dual education systems; stresses, however, that EIB loans should be seen as a supplement to and not a replacement for EU funding in the form of grants;

Combating Youth unemployment at national level

16. Stresses that investment in youth employment must be a key component of national social investment strategies;

17. Calls for an ambitious, holistic policy approach which looks at education, training, employment and self-employment initiatives, for all young people at all the various levels, in an integrated way; points out that it is essential to target the transition between the different educational and training pathways and recognise competences based on non-formal and informal learning; stresses that income security and trust in labour market prospects are essential pre-conditions for choosing higher education and that young people with a higher risk of exclusion are overly affected by this;

18. Is strongly concerned at the budget cuts being made by Member States in the fields of education, training and youth, and therefore emphasises the need for the educational systems of the Member States to be reformed, using national and EU resources, with a view to making youth education more cost effective and competitive;

19. Urges the Member States to take sweeping measures to fight youth unemployment, in particular through preventive action against early dropout from school or from training or apprenticeship schemes (e.g. by introducing a dual educational system or other equally efficient types of framework), and to develop comprehensive strategies for young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs);

20. Notes that social investment in youth may take a wide range of forms, including: developing partnerships between schools, training centres and local or regional businesses; providing targeted quality training and high-quality youth internship programmes; vocational schemes in cooperation with enterprises; senior employee sponsorship schemes aimed at the recruitment and training of young people on the job or at securing a better transition from education to work; encouraging young people’s participation in society; and promoting regional, European and international mobility by means of further progress towards the mutual recognition of qualifications and skills; also stresses that social investment can go hand in hand with efficient incentives, such as employment subsidies or insurance contributions for young people that will guarantee decent living and working conditions, in order to encourage public and private employers to hire young people, invest in both quality job creation for young people and continuous training and upgrading of their skills during employment, and support entrepreneurship among young people;

21. Calls on the Member States to consider tried and tested practices, especially those of Member States with low unemployment rates, and to explore whether concepts such as dual education and training and vocational schooling, as well as Youth Guarantee schemes that have already been implemented, might be compatible with their national systems; emphasises that the dual vocational training system and twin-track studies, with their focus on practical experience, have stood the test of the economic crisis particularly well, helping to reduce youth unemployment by making people more employable,

22. Stresses that the crisis countries currently have extremely alarming rates of youth unemployment; therefore, calls on the Commission to assess crisis measures in terms of their impact on youth employment and calls on the Member States and the Commission to consider ending those crisis measures which have a negative impact on youth employment; calls on the Commission to exclude investments in areas targeting youth employment such as job creation, education, training and research and development from deficit targets, since they are vital in order to ensure a sustainable exit from the crisis and to consolidate the EU economy along the path towards competitiveness and sustainable productivity;

23. Calls on the Member States to improve cooperation between businesses and the educational sector at all levels with a view to improving the way in which curricula are linked to the demands of the labour market, for example by extending Sector Skills Alliances and Knowledge Alliances; stresses that more flexible curricula are needed in order to better adapt to future labour market developments;

24. Stresses the need for Member States to improve support for self-employment among young people while preventing insolvency and bogus self-employment;


°         °

25. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the European Council and the Council.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0224.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0016.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0092.

Last updated: 11 June 2013Legal notice