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Turkish Coffee Briefings: “Time to act for Youth Employment in Europe”

Mr Jan Kreutz

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Turkish Coffee Briefings meeting was held on the topic of  “Time to act

for Youth Employment in Europe”

Turkish Coffee Briefings is a roundtable debate club in Brussels. The sessions are introduced by a guest speaker, followed by 45 minutes of exchange of views by participants. Turkish coffee and delights are served.

The topics are selected in relation with the current European social, political and economic agenda. The first meeting was held early February on the topic of “Turkish foreign policy and the EU’s external actions”.

A new  Turkish Coffee Briefing was held this week on the topic of “Time to
act for Youth Employment”.  The introductory speech of Mr. Jan Kreutz, Social Policy Advisor from PES (Party European Socialists) was followed by a vibrant debate among participants from European Parliament, European Council, European Commission, European media, think thanks, European youth organisations, business and civic society.

The meeting was held under Chatham House rules and following issues were raised by participants:

• PES proposals for fighting youth unemployment. As first of 20 concrete
measures, the PES proposes the introduction of a Europe-wide youth
guarantee, ensuring that every young person in Europe must be offered a
job, further education or work-focused training, at the latest four months
after leaving education or after becoming unemployed.

• In order to achieve it, the PES demands to redirect at least €10 billion
of unused European Social Funds to a special “youth employment strategy”.
This way, 2 million new jobs and apprenticeship places for young people
could be created. Another measure is the use of the 6% of all national and
European budgets to be spent on high-quality education and to introduce
the dual education system in all Member States.

• The investments needed to implement a youth guarantee are much lower
than the costs of youth unemployment and a poorly skilled workforce. The
European Foundation for Living and Working Conditions estimates that the
consequences of millions of young people being neither employed nor
receiving education or training causes costs of at least € 2 billion per
week – the equivalent of 1.1% of GDP in total. The reintegration of 10% of
these young people into the labour market would achieve a yearly saving of
more than € 10 billion.

• High-quality jobs are another of the keystones of the campaign: a public and private investment programme of € 210 billion annually in order to create new jobs and to decarbonise Europe’s economy, especially in those countries more affected by the crisis.

• The PES demands to revise European and national legislation to ensure a
high quality of work for all young people and to end discrimination of
disadvantaged groups of young people, such as young migrants and young
people with disabilities. A concrete action plan is needed to overcome the
gender pay gap of young employees. In addition, childcare and the mobility
of young employees must be supported.

• In the debate, issues such as the situation of the youth in the Greek
economic crises, inabilities of the European governments to act
efficiently, Turkey’s education systems’ problems and its challenges as
the youngest society in Europe, Spain’s new policies to promote the youth
employment, the cases of the Nordic countries and factors of their
relative success in this field, proposal by the youth NGOs and urgent
steps to reform the European job markets were discussed by the
participants.

The founder of the Turkish Coffee Briefings, Ms Kader Sevinç concluded the
meeting by announcing new sessions on the media, European Parliament and
gender equality.

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