For more than 10 years now, an unacceptable number of young Europeans are unemployed. Many of them are hindered to practise the profession for which they have been trained and find themselves either locked out of paid work or employed only short time under poor working conditions. Young people in southern Europe are most severely affected, but there are also major problems in other countries, in Croatia, Slovenia and France for example.
Five years ago, with the European Youth Guarantee the European Commission and the European Council committed all Member States to offer all young people aged between 15 and 24 (the upper age limit was later raised to 30) either a paid job or a training place within four months.
The Member States have to develop programmes to put this arrangement into practice. To meet this requirement, they receive an amount of funding based on their general plans and on the level of youth unemployment in the country. An EU fund was set up for these activities, with a budget of EUR 6.4 billion to cover the period from 2014 to 2018; a further EUR 2 billion was made available last year and the scheme was extended until 2020. Funding under the European Youth Guarantee is provided on the expectation that
Member States will draw up an effective implementation strategy and take practical measures designed to increase considerably the perspectives of young people securing a job which can provide them with a livelihood.