‘The youth unemployment crisis is the legacy of 3 years of Conservative inaction’, says Chancellor candidate
Meeting in advance of a round table on youth unemployment in Berlin, PES Ministers have made a strong call to speed up European Union (EU) efforts to overcome youth unemployment. The Ministers were joined by German Social Democratic Party (SPD) candidate for Chancellor, Peer Steinbrück.
Mr. Steinbrück said that; “the youth unemployment crisis is the legacy of three years of Conservative inaction. The work of European Social Democrats, based on consulting with young people and other stakeholders over two years and developing concrete policy proposals, contrasts starkly with the cynical pre-election approach of the German government. The CDU’s priority seems to be the creation of the most powerful photo opportunity, rather than securing young people’s future. What is missing from the conservative-liberal platform is genuine social engagement genuine social resources. As long as Angela Merkel and her conservative government continues to enforce unbalanced austerity-only policies on all Member States, without providing the measures for sustainable growth throughout Europe, youth unemployment will rise further. The programmes which have launched so far are not sufficiently financed.”
He added that; “Young people in Europe will only have a bright future, if conservatives finally accept the need for real economic integration and a more social Europe. The proposals made today by the German government are a weak version of plans we could have had in place two years ago. Those are two years that thousands upon thousands of young unemployed people will never get back. Our political family has understood the urgency of acting now”.
Nicolas Schmit, Luxemburgish Minister for Employment and Chairperson of the PES Social Ministers Network, stated; “I would like to recall that the social democratic party in Austria introduced the first comprehensive youth guarantee and that it was our family that promoted the introduction of aEurope-wide youth guarantee. Ambitious policies and more funds are necessary to overcome youth unemployment and this should have long happened before youth unemployment in the EU reached 5.5 million. Our resolve stands in sharp contrast to the reluctance of European conservatives to commit resources”.
Michel Sapin, French Employment Minister stated: “Overcoming youth unemployment is an absolute priority. It supposes to gather all our strength to fight against it: developing apprenticeship and training, supporting small and medium enterprises, implementing the youth guarantee quickly and frontloading this fund in 2014 and 2015 to have a concrete effect on youth unemployment. But youth guarantees can only work if they are supported by concrete measures. In France for example we have introduced a generation pact, which provides new jobs to young people, without squeezing senior workers out of the labour market. But the crisis is European, and requires solutions based on European coordination”.
Following the ministers meeting, Peer Steinbrück and Nicolas Schmit received a declaration on youth unemployment, developed by 150 young people. Peer Steinbrück said: “I am happy that young people stay resolved and develop their own ideas to fight youth unemployment. The SPD agrees with the proposals we received today and will do everything possible to change the economic environment in Europe, allowing for more jobs for young people to be created.”