Nicolas Schmit, Luxemburgish Minister for Employment and Chairperson of the PES Social Ministers Network, welcomed the Irish Labour Party’s support: “To avoid that an entire generation is lost to unemployment, poverty and social exclusion, every Member State needs to introduce a youth guarantee. The Commission’s proposal for a European Youth Guarantee Scheme is currently fine tuned in the Council of Ministers. Despite some opposition of conservative governments, I am confident that we can adopt the proposal in the coming weeks. Those young people who have been out of work for several months or years cannot wait any longer.”
Mr. Schmit stated: “However, without providing the necessary funds to create new jobs for young people, youth guarantees will not become reality. We therefore welcome the pressure social democratic and socialist Prime Ministers have put on the European Council, to ensure that several billion Euros will be available to introduce youth guarantees. We are happy that Herman Van Rompuy has listened to our party and that he announced to put forward such funding in the framework of the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework (EU Budget). In order for youth guarantees to work, the employers have to live up to their responsibility to create new, decent jobs.”
Mr. Schmit added that; “The Irish Labour Party has played a pivotal role to make progress in adopting a Youth Guarantee scheme at European level. This shows what a strong political commitment can achieve: after the Party of European Socialists has been campaigning for a European Youth Guarantee for more than a year, this concept continues to build momentum across Europe. Our proposal is now close to become reality”.
In the run up to the EPSCO meeting, the Irish Labour Party had been very vocal about the need for a European Youth Guarantee. Minister Joan Burton wrote an article restating her commitment to reach an agreement on the Youth Guarantee. The Irish Minister for Social Protection pointed out that; “the Youth Guarantee is ambitious. But we have to be ambitious – the sheer scale of the crisis demands it”.