Youth Guarantee: a step forward to structural reforms in Europe?

Employment and Social Affairs

The Youth Guarantee is likely to be one of the top priorities of the new European Commission, if the request for further acceleration and progressively broadening of the scheme, called by the president Jean Claude Juncker during his speech at the European Parliament, will be confirmed.

But which results have been achieved so far and which projects are in place among the Member States?

According to the outgoing commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, Lazlo Andor, the Youth Guarantee scheme is already bringing results and it is probably the most rapidly implemented EU structural reform, as confirmed by the First Findings Report of the European Commission published last September.

However, in the report – which tracked 18 pilot projects launched in 7 countries (Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom) for a period of 12 months – it is also highlighted that the Youth Guarantee is not yet well-known, and one of the mayor issues is how to reach inactive young people and raise their awareness concerning the scheme.

Furthermore, the implementation of the Youth Guarantee requires deep structural reforms in many countries, such as the public employment services’ reform, in order to address training, education and school-to-work transition systems.

The European Social Fund and the Youth Employment Initiative have been made available to support the implementation of the scheme, but only substantial budgetary commitments from within Member States would be able to secure the Youth Guarantee sustainability and its return of investment in the medium and long term.

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