The European Parliament is urging the Council to reach early agreement on a proposed recommendation on youth guarantee schemes(1). In a non-legislative resolution adopted on 16 January, MEPs confirmed their support for this initiative, which should help young unemployed people to gain access to a job, continued education or apprenticeship within four months of leaving school or losing their job. More specifically, MEPs are calling for member states to allocate sufficient funding to the initiative, and to adopt it during the Employment and Social Affairs Council of 28 February.
"The employment situation in general, and particularly for young people, is unacceptable. We must draw inspiration from the actions of certain member states in order to resolve this, and we must cease to consider youth employment as a consequence of other policies," said the author of the resolution, Socialist MEP Pervenche Beres (France).
In response to multiple calls from Parliament, on 5 December 2012 the Commission published a recommendation on the creation of a youth guarantee. This proposal, which is not legally binding, encourages member states to create schemes to provide all EU citizens under 25 years of age with "a good-quality offer of employment, continued education or apprenticeship," such as the scheme that already exists in Finland. The proposal suggests using Structural Funds - more specifically the European Social Fund - to co-finance these measures.
Since it is excluded from the adoption procedure, Parliament has made sure its...