In Europe more than 5.5 million young people are jobless or facing very precarious working conditions. In my country, Bulgaria, the youth unemployment rate is a worrying 30%, but in countries as Spain and Greece as many as one out of two young people cannot find a job.
The consequences of youth unemployment are a threat to our societies as we know them: without a job, young people cannot build a sustainable future and the security net for pensioners is compromised.
This is why last month the PES, together with ECOSY and PES Women launched the campaign “Your future is my future – a European Youth Guarantee now!” The campaign aims at implementing a youth guarantee in Europe 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 campaign takes off
When we launched it, we knew the campaign would garner support, but we never imagined just how much support we would have: we are ready to take the call for a youth guarantee to the next level.
I want to tell you the impact the campaign has had – only a month after it was launched:
- This Thursday Nicolas Schmit (Minister for Social Affairs of Luxembourg and chair of the PES working group in Youth Unemployment) and Rudolf Hundstorfer (Minister for Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection of Austria) have presented our demand for a Youth Guarantee to the press, ahead of the Social Ministers Council
- On 6-7 June the Socialists & Democrats Group in the European Parliament made the youth guarantee a central point of debate in its conference “I want a job and I want it now!”
- In a major step towards the introduction of a European Youth Guarantee, social democratic Commissioner László Andor has showed his support in a video released by the Good Society Debate. This is a remarkable sign from Andor and, more importantly, a sign of how the pressure of the campaigners all across Europe is making the difference
- PES Women President Zita Gurmai has been tireless in raising awareness to the consequences of youth unemployment and promoting a youth guarantee in her daily work in the European Parliament and among PES Women members
- French Socialist MEP Pervenche Berès has proposed a European Youth Guarantee in a resolution approved by the European Parliament on 24 May
- The International Labour Organization (ILO) has demanded greater focus on jobs and growth on its annual ‘Global Employment Trends for Youth’ report, in line with our youth employment programme
- The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has called for a Youth Guarantee
- From Ireland to Malta and from Portugal to Sweden we have received strong support and commitment to a European Youth Guarantee all over Europe
To get things done at European level we need to keep pushing for the youth guarantee at national level and make a clear pressure for change.
This July I will be addressing the ECOSY Summer Camp in Croatia and, together, we will bring an extra 2,000 new supporters to the campaign.
During the PES Congress the campaign will be one of the main discussion topics and we will take the opportunity to call for a Youth Guarantee to be implemented at European level.
In a context of economic crisis, the PES understands that a youth without jobs is a youth without future. We believe our guarantee can provide the answer to a generation that otherwise risks being lost to the society. This is why we will keep fighting to make a European Youth Guarantee a reality and to bring back hope to 5,5 million promising young people.
But cannot do this alone; we need your help to keep the campaign going in your country and to reach out to decision-makers in Brussels.
Join the campaign and spread the word!