Unemployment rates in EU countries, 27 March, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of a number of posters created by the Economic Cooperation Administration to promote the Marshall Plan in Europe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The following link is a MUST READ article published by the EU which I picked up from a tweet from Jose Barroso, President of the EU.
EUROPA – PRESS RELEASES – Press Release – EU measures to tackle youth unemployment.
For me, whilst the initiative is commendable, it will take years to implement effectively. The acid test is what will it do for today’s unemployed youth?.
Let me quote some statistics from the report:
In March 2013, the lowest rates were observed in Germany and Austria (both 7.6%), The Netherlands (10.5%), and the highest in Greece (59.1% in January 2013), Spain (55.9%), Italy (38.4%) and Portugal (38.3%).
The EU has recently become embarrassed by its austerity policies and is now turning attention to growth which is a good thing but this bureaucracy will never be truly effective, in my view.
Political leaders need to brainstorm initiatives to get Europe’s youth back to work. For me, language skills are critical; there is a skills shortage in Germany, so young people in Spain and and Greece should be helped towards learning German and finding jobs in Germany, for example. Most importantly, there is a case to reflate demand, starting in Germany; this is what is needed first and foremost. Another important initiative is a type of Marshall Plan to invest in Southern Europe. Candidly, in my view, it’s a job for Europe’s political leaders not the bureaucrats; perhaps the troika could help too (EC, ECB and IMF).