Friday 8 February, 11.30am – 2pm
European Parliament Office, 43 Molesworth St, Dublin 2
I have recently been appointed as European Parliament Rapporteur for the draft regulation establishing a Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived. The proposed Fund is a €2.5bn programme intended to replace and build upon the existing EU Food Distribution Programme, running from 2014-2020.
This is an important and positive European Union initiative and I am very keen to see it take effect as planned from 2014. As part of my work as Rapporteur, I am currently consulting with Irish-based interest groups, legislators, individuals and organisations interested in this Fund. In this regard, I would like to invite you to a Public Seminar on The Fund for European Aid for the Most Deprived, from 11.30am-2pm on Friday, 8 February, at the European Parliament office, 43 Molesworth St, Dublin 2.
The purpose of this event is to deepen awareness and understanding in Ireland of this initiative and to get your feedback on the proposed new Fund, as it makes its way through the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.
Speakers will include:
Places at the seminar are limited. If you would like to attend or send a representative to this seminar, please register by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01.8746109 before Thursday 7 February.
Emer Costello MEP
Unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, is the biggest challenge facing Ireland right now - we risk losing an entire generation with almost one-third of young Irish people and nearly one-quarter across Europe currently without work, many for a year or more.
I am campaigning for a European Youth Guarantee because I am convinced that the Youth Guarantee approach pursued in Austria and Denmark, which have some of the lowest youth unemployment rates in the EU, is the one that can help reduce youth unemployment.
Under this approach, EU Governments would bring together employers, training agencies, and education services, and would guarantee each unemployed young person a quality job, work placement, training, combined work and training or further education within a specific period of becoming unemployed or leaving full-time education.
This approach works well in Austria and Denmark - which have youth unemployment rates of 10% and 14% respectively, compared to the EU average of almost 23% and should now be taken up by Europe as a whole using the European Social Fund as a co-funding mechanism.
As a Member of the European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee, I have consistently argued in favour of the Youth Guarantee and have pressed for its early introduction. I am delighted that the EU is due to issue proposals on the Youth Guarantee shortly. I very much welcome the fact that the Government has committed to making the adoption of this measure a priority of the Irish EU presidency next year and I look forward to working with the Irish Presidency to ensure its delivery.
A Youth Guarantee is an approach whereby Governments, public employment services, education providers, training agencies and youth groups, work together and in tandem with employers, to offering young people a job, training or education within a stated period (normally within four months) of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education.
The Youth Guarantee approach is followed by a number of EU countries, such as Austria and Denmark, which have lower levels of youth unemployment (between 10-15% compared to the EU average of almost 23% and nearly 34% in Ireland).
The European Commission will issue a proposal for a 'Council Recommendation' - on a Youth Guarantee on 5 December. This will set out a best practice model for all Member States to follow, as well as recommendations on its monitoring and evaluation. The adoption of this proposal will be a priority for the Irish Presidency. Once adopted, it would be up to each Member State to implement the model, using co-funding from the European Social Fund. The Commission has also indicated that Youth Guarantee schemes will feature strongly under EU spending plans over the 2014-20 period.
In anticipation of these developments, the Dept of Social Protection has already submitted a proposal for funding (for €250,000) to the Commission for a 'preparatory action' Youth Guarantee scheme in Ballymun running from April 2013 to April 2014. The aim of this pilot project is to engage with approximately 90 young unemployed people in Ballymun, identify and address their individual needs and to guarantee each one a work placement, training, education or a job over the course of the pilot programme.
The lessons gained from this pilot project would also feed into future national and EU policy-making on Youth Guarantees over the years ahead. The Commission will shortly decide on this application for EU funding.
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Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte TD said: “We have to work with other European countries and EU institutions to combat this high level of unemployment. The Youth Guarantee, spearheaded by the PES, is taking a pro-active role in changing the future of young people in Europe for the better.”
John Lyons TD said: “With youth unemployment at over 30% in Ireland, we are holding ourselves back with so many young people on the sidelines.