The European Parliament has budgeted one thousand million euros to enable Member States to fight youth unemployment

The European Parliament (EP) decided, in late April, to accelerate the implementation of this youth employment initiative by advancing one thousand million euros for this year, which could benefit as many as 650,000 young people. Twenty countries will be eligible for the initiative in 2014-2015, including Spain, which has the highest allocation amounting to 283 million euros, followed by Italy (170 million), France (93 million) and Greece (51.4 million). “We are in a race against time and Europe has given a boost to youth employment. Achieving a wide-ranging agreement in such short time has been a challenge”, said the French MEP Elisabeth Morin-Chartier (PPE), who was responsible for the negotiation of the dossier in the Parliament.

The budget for the European Youth Employment Initiative for 2014-2015 amounts to 3,200 million euros, together with another 3,200 million euros from the European Social Fund for Member States. Until February of this year, the Commission had approved 28 of 34 programmes within the framework of this initiative. All of them will be eligible to fund up to one third of their budgets as soon as the new rules come into force.

The one thousand million euros of the Youth Employment Initiative available for this year will raise the EU contribution to the funding of projects from 1 – 1.5% to 30%. “This money should now be used for efficient programmes and plans that provide long-term effects”, said Martina Dlabajova, member for the liberal group. However, she cautioned, that “money alone cannot create jobs. Jobs are created by the real needs of the economy. It is important that the funding should be supplemented by changes to the labour market at national levels”.

The countries that will benefit from the initiative are Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Romania and Sweden. Actions covered by the Youth Employment Initiative must be carried out before the end of 2018.

Country        Allocation planned 2015    Allocation after increase             Allocation 2014-20

Spain                        9.4                                                 283                                                          943.5
Itay                            5.6                                                170.2                                                        567.5
France                      3.1                                                  93                                                            310.1
Poland                      2.5                                                 75.7                                                          252.4
United Kingdom     2                                                     61.8                                                          206
Greece                      2.5                                                  51.4                                                          171.5
Portugal                  1.6                                                  48.2                                                          160.7
Romania                 1.5                                                   31.7                                                          105.9
Slovakia               721,753                                             21.6                                                            72.1
Ireland                 681,454                                            20.4                                                            68.1
Croatia                 661,771                                             19.8                                                           66.1
Bulgaria               551,887                                            16.5                                                             55.1
Sweden                441,631                                             13.2                                                            44.1
Belgium               424,351                                            12.7                                                            42.4
Lithuania            317,826                                              9.5                                                            31.7
Latva                    290,106                                              8.7                                                            29
Czech Rep.          136,000                                             4                                                               13.5
Cyprus                  173,582                                             3.4                                                            11.5
Slovenia                 92,115                                              2.7                                                              9.2