Press Release


Youth Employment: potential for Europe - boost it or lose it? Jan Kozłowski MEP


Seminar 'Potential for Europe – Boost it or lose it? Turning the spotlight on new opportunities for youth employment'.<BR>
l-r: Jan Kozłowski MEP (EPP Group, Poland), host of the seminar, László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, and Jonas Bering Liisberg, representing the Danish Presidency
Today, Jan Kozłowski MEP held a seminar 'Potential for Europe – Boost it or lose it? Turning the spotlight on new opportunities for youth employment' at the European Parliament. The keynote speech was delivered by the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. The aim of the seminar was to provide an opportunity for the stakeholders to discuss various options for young people on the labour market.

"With this seminar, I wish to provide an opportunity to discuss, from various perspectives, the difficult situation of young persons on the labour market. The stakeholders had a chance to meet all together and discuss the existing obstacles to youth employment and to develop effective solutions to overcome them. It is necessary to take decisive actions at national and European level that will support both the adaptation of education systems and lifelong learning to meet labour market requirements. Moreover, the creation of a number of new quality jobs and the development of entrepreneurship among young persons is essential", said Jan Kozłowski MEP.

In January 2012, the unemployment rate among young persons in the EU-27 reached an alarming 22.4%. In some countries, it even exceeded 40%. Surprisingly, at the same time, a number of unfilled vacancies have been increasing systematically since 2009. Youth unemployment causes many severe problems in society. If the issue is not resolved soon, it will provoke unforeseeable implications in the future.

"Youth unemployment is Europe's biggest drama today. We must all work harder to create real opportunities for the next generations. This means investing in education, apprenticeships and support for youngsters to find a first good job or start a business. It is simply a waste of resources if large numbers of young jobseekers who are keen to contribute don't get their chance", said the European Commissioner.

The seminar was moderated by Karolina Ostrzyniewska, Deputy Permanent Representative of Poland to the EU. The Danish Presidency was represented by Jonas Bering Liisberg, Deputy Permanent Representative of Denmark. The seminar gathered many high-profile speakers: Pierre Mairesse, Director for Lifelong Learning, Horizontal Policies and the 2020 Strategy from DG Education and Culture in the European Commission, Giorgio Zecca, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator from European Youth Forum and Juan Menendez-Valdes, Director of Eurofund.

The audience consisted of representatives of the European Parliament, European Commission, and other EU Institutions, NGOs, think-tanks, job agencies, the education and business sectors, regional offices and representatives of Permanent Representations of Member States, students and young graduates.

For further information:
Jan Kozłowski MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845742
Katarzyna Klaus, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-484-138359

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 271 Members.

Employment and Social Affairs