'Regions and cities are faced with unacceptably high rates of youth unemployment in many parts of the EU, with very little means to combat it', explained the Coordinator of the PES Group in the EDUC commission during the debate in plenary of the Resolution of the Committee of the Regions on the same topic. ‘It’s about time Member States stopped dragging their feet; we need resolute action, as the European Socialists have been urging for, for the last two years!’, she said, defending the PES Group position for the introduction of youth guarantee schemes already by January 2014.
The PES Group, which has been fully involved in the campaign of the Party of European Socialists ‘Your Future is my Future: A European Youth Guarantee Now’, succeeded in introducing in the CoR Resolution a call for the extension of youth guarantee schemes to recent graduates up to the age of 30. It also won a key amendment on the need for a quality framework for jobs offered under such schemes, elaborated with the full involvement of the social partners. Socialists in the CoR managed to echo in the Resolution recent discussions in the European Parliament about the European Professional Card and the recognition across the EU of traineeships that form part of a regulated profession, whether paid or not. The adopted CoR text also recognises the need for additional help to countries under severe budgetary constraints, which are the hardest hit by youth unemployment.
It is worth reminding that the Party of European Socialists has been fighting for a European Youth Guarantee that ensures that every young person in Europe is offered a job, further education or work-focused training at the latest four months after leaving education or after becoming unemployed.
The PES campaign bore its fruit because the European Commission finally came up with a proposal as part of its Youth Employment Package, adopted last December. Moreover, the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU, led by a coalition government with the Irish Labour Party, has fully recognised the urgency of the matter and is keen to reach a swift agreement on the introduction of youth guarantees.