“Less talk, more action” against youth unemployment
By Sophie Petitjean | Wednesday 13 June 2012
A fifteen-point appeal drafted by young people for young people - this is the outcome of a conference, entitled ‘I want a job, and I want it now’, organised by the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group at the European Parliament, on 6-7 June. It is also the subject of a letter addressed, on 12 June, by the President of the group, Hannes Swoboda, to the presidents of the Council and the European Commission. “I hope that the voice of Europe’s youth will be heard, taken up and translated into urgent actions to tackle the soaring youth unemployment rates in Europe,” Swoboda commented.
The first point concerns the introduction of youth quotas in enterprises to stimulate hiring. Other points include the introduction of quality criteria for traineeships – namely through a limited number of trainees per enterprise; robust budgets for grants; exchange programmes; and a better use of EU funds. Young Europeans say that the millions of euro that have not been spent from the EU budget should be better used to fight youth unemployment. Microfinance and EU credits are also necessary since national banks are no longer loaning, they say. These young Europeans denounce the austerity policies, corruption and tax evasion; conversely, they call for investments in real economy, research, education and development to ensure job creation in the countries that are struggling the most. Similarly, they support decent salaries, a positive approach to immigration, freedom of expression, and the defence of human rights. The fifteenth and last of the actions consists in “less talk, more action”.