Young people: we don't want to be a lost generation!

Tomorrow a delegation [1]of young European trade unionists will meet the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso to ask for a change in current austerity policies.

In 11 EU member states youth unemployment is over than 25% and it is 50% or higher in Greece (57%), Spain (56%) and Croatia (52%).


Young people are struggling to find jobs, to further their education and have to migrate.

7.5 million young people are neither in employment nor in education or training. The risk of a lost generation is real and young trade unionists are looking to European leaders to provide solutions.

The adoption by the EU of a Youth Guarantee [2] is a step in the right direction but lacks funding - according to the ILO €21bn are needed for proper implementation at European level rather than the €6 bn that have been allocated so far.

Young people understand the need to get Government budgets in order” said Patrick Itschert, Deputy Secretary General of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) “but President Barroso needs to understand that austerity will not create jobs. The EU has to give young people some hope. The EU has to do more to ensure investment to boost demand, to support education, to improve infrastructure, to drive R&D and to create quality jobs. ” 

“The EU should boost programs such as “Erasmus” and “Eures”, as a voluntary choice to study or work in another country” said Salvatore Marra, President of the ETUC Youth Committee. “Current austerity policies are forcing young people to leave their own country and work abroad often in precarious conditions.

Young trade unionists will lead the cortege at an ETUC Euro-demonstration on April 4 in Brussels calling for a ‘NewPath4Europe’.


[1] The delegation led by Salvatore Marra, the President of the ETUC Youth Committee, is composed of  young trade unionists from 6 European countries.

[2] The Youth Guarantee is a new approach to tackling youth unemployment which ensures that all young people under 25 –get a concrete offer within 4 months of them leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. The offer should be for a job, apprenticeship, traineeship, or continued education.