As Europe continues to struggle with soaring public deficits and the need to balance the books, the Council of Europe has been grappling with a major consequence of the budget cuts. The impact on youth unemployment.
At a meeting ahead of Thurday’s EU summit, council members claimed the younger generation are being sacrificed.
Across Europe, youth unemployment has risen in the last four years by over seven per cent.
But the figure masks huge disparities – while Germany has fewer than eight per cent of their under 25-year-olds out of work, Spain and Greece have over half.
It is a problem some see as having far reaching effects for the future of Europe.
Chairman of the conservative EPP group in the Council of Europe, Luca Volonté explains:
“ Millions of European young people have decided to stop their studies, to stop their choice of work (to stop looking for work), and to abandon themselves in a sort of limbo situation. These are millions of people we’ve lost completely for the future generation, for the future of Europe and for the development of Europe and we should intervene.”
The council believes tax breaks for young entrepreneurs, tax incentives for employers offering apprenticeships and a greater match of education to the needs of the labour market should be implemented. Europe’s leaders must act before a generation is lost.