On 23 April, the European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) called for an enlargement of the scope of the youth guarantee. Considering the devastating youth unemployment situation, the committee adopted a report that aims to further protect and support one of the most vulnerable groups in today’s Europe.
In the European Commission proposal for a Youth Employment Initiative, tabled on 5 December 2012, it is foreseen that the youth guarantee applies to young people up to 25 years and that EU funding is provided to countries with youth unemployment rates higher than 25%. The parliament’s committee believes that this is not sufficient and proposes to extend the youth guarantee to young people up to 30 years. Furthermore, the parliamentarians demand that EU funding should be made available for all countries with youth unemployment rates higher than 20%.
The Party of European Socialists (PES) welcomes the extension of the scope of the youth guarantee and calls for more funding to Member States to introduce the scheme and ensure that widening the scope will not result in less money available for each young person concerned. Only if the funding available to introduce youth guarantees is extended beyond the 6 billion euro currently proposed, real progress can be made in reducing youth unemployment throughout Europe.