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Are the EU and its Member States doing enough for youth employment? To investigate, the EESC makes full use of its members' expertise.

Members of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and its Labour Market Observatory (LMO) have embarked on an impact study on the implementation of EU youth employment policies in a selection of six Member States (Austria, Croatia, Finland, Greece, Italy and Slovakia) – seen from the civil society perspective.

The vulnerable situation of young workers in the labour market has been a topic of particular concern for all the European institutions, as young people have been hit especially hard by the crisis. In the last four years, the overall employment rate for young people fell three times as much as for adults. The situation is clearly unacceptable: 5.5 million young people were unemployed in the EU-28 area in December 2013.

Learning from each other:

The LMO's pilot project on youth employment seeks to provide added value to the mass of existing European documents by going directly to the stakeholders and asking for their views on issues such as the implementation of the youth guarantee and the effectiveness of the traineeship and apprenticeship systems. Information is being collected through questionnaires and fact-finding missions to Member States, during which the EESC members meet representatives of employers’ organisations, trade unions, youth organisations and public authorities. “We have chosen the countries that are most and least affected by youth unemployment, such as Greece and Slovakia and Finland and Austria, in order to stimulate mutual learning. This grass-roots information will contribute to a better understanding of the situation in specific Member States," explains Christa Schweng (Group I, Austria), President of the LMO.

A public hearing on youth employment will be organised by the Labour Market Observatory on
1 April 2014, involving the EESC’s institutional partners, the social partners and civil society organisations, national/regional/local stakeholders from the Member States that have been visited, think-tanks and other relevant organisations. Part of the June plenary session of the EESC – the first after the European elections - will also be dedicated to this key topic, with the impact study and an opinion on best practices on youth employment (rapporteur Christa Schweng) on the agenda.

For more information, please contact:

EESC Press Unit


Tel.: +32 2 546 9360


The European Economic and Social Committee represents the various economic and social components of organised civil society. It is an institutional consultative body established by the 1957 Treaty of Rome. Its consultative role enables its members, and hence the organisations they represent, to participate in the EU decision-making process. The Committee has 353 members from across Europe, who are appointed by the Council of the European Union.


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