In a debate today on the European youth initiative, GUE/NGL MEPs expressed concerns that the additional one billion euros being stumped up by the Commission to frontload the scheme would be taken out of existing social budgets.

French MEP Patrick Le Hyaric said: “With over 7 million young people deprived of activity and employment in the EU, it is high time Europe moved away from austerity and initiated projects that will give autonomy to young people. But we have to be clear that the additional money being granted here is money that is being taken from other policy areas. We also have to look at the corporations that lay off workers yet continue to make profits. Access to work must be a fundamental right and one that exists across the entire EU.”

“The youth guarantee only offers incentives to employers, and we know this doesn't work,” said Spanish MEP Paloma López Bermejo. “It is being used to make jobs even more precarious and as a way to go on the offensive against the world of work. If we don't have public investment and use that as a tool for development, then all we're doing is ensuring that the social crisis lasts even longer and that there will be no alternative but poverty for our young people.”

“EU attempts at addressing the devastating levels of youth unemployment across Europe are marred by a lack of ambition, funds and understanding,” said GUE/NGL MEP Lynn Boylan. “If EU leaders are really serious about getting young people into work, they would have created a proper employment scheme with funding of at least 21 billion euro as recommended by the International Labour Organization (ILO). Without a well-funded scheme, we are offering young people empty promises and not a guarantee of proper employment.”

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