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Open letter to Commissioner Andor on a youth dimension in the EU 2020 strategy

I would like to draw your attention to youth unemployment problem across Europe. Close to six million young Europeans are not able to find a job and thus earn a living. This depicts a dangerous trend and all efforts should be invested to reverse it.

The numbers speak for themselves and this situation cannot be neglected. Therefore the European Youth Forum is campaigning to maintain the European Youth Pact and its main ideas as part of the upcoming EU 2020 strategy as a way of keeping the European Union and member states strongly committed to solving the ever-growing youth unemployment problem.

The European Youth Pact is a cross-sector policy instrument which was adopted in the European Spring Council of March 2005 by heads and state and government, as one of the instruments contributing to the achievement of the Lisbon Strategy’s objectives. Heads of state and government reaffirmed their commitment in spring Councils in 2006 and 2007.

This document ensures that a set of policies and measures which concern the needs of young people constitute a fully integrated part of the Lisbon Strategy. Today young people in Europe want to make sure that youth-related policies will still be integrated in the post-Lisbon agenda. The EU member states have agreed on common goals and strategies in the field of youth, and a youth dimension in the EU 2020 should feature as an indispensable instrument for the realisation of the EU’s ambitious goals.

It is important to note that the Spanish Presidency in its programme expresses support for the European Youth Pact, calling to reinforce “building bridges between education and the labour market, fostering increased youth autonomy, mobility and involvement in shaping the European citizenship”.

The employment of young people was also confirmed as a priority of EU 2020 strategy by the informal Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) meeting in January 27-29 in Barcelona.

The recent Commission’s evaluation document of the Lisbon Strategy further confirms that with regard to labour market policies, “there is considerable room for improvement, in particular amongst the young and older age groups” stating also that “youth unemployment continues to be a severe and increasing problem”.

Thus we strongly call upon you, Andor, as the newly-appointed Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion to follow up on the support expressed in your hearing towards youth-related policies, and to:

  • Acknowledge the dangerous situation of unprecedentedly high youth unemployment by addressing this problem in the EU 2020 strategy;
  • Continue the process begun in 2005 and support the inclusion of the European Youth Pact in the post-Lisbon Agenda.

Yours sincerely,

Tine Radinja

President

European Youth Forum

The European Youth Forum (YFJ) is an independent, democratic, youth-led platform, representing 99 national youth councils and international youth organisations from across Europe. The YFJ works to empower young people to participate actively in society to improve their own lives, by representing and advocating their needs and interests and those of their organisations towards the European institutions, the Council of Europe and the United Nations.

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