The Future of Youth in Europe

From 11 to 14 May 2017 took place in Baile Felix, Romania, a seminar about “The Future of Youth in Europe”, organized by CSDR / Departamentul Educare - Formare al CSDR (Confederaţia Sindicatelor Democratice din România / Departamentul Educare - Formare al Confederaţiei Sindicatelor Democratice din România), with the support of EZA and of the European Union. 50 representatives of workers’ organisations from Bulgaria, Portugal, Czech Republic, Spain and Romania participated in the seminar.

We find ourselves currently at a turning point: “the technological revolution” produced its effects and is about to be replaced by “the digital revolution”, the youth unemployment has reached alarming high levels, there are over 5 million young people unemployed in the European Union countries, the European Union is in search of a new identity, the Euroscepticism manifests aggressively, Brexit is going to have unexpected effects, the predictability of the relationship between the European Union and the United States does not exist anymore, the European Social Model is attacked more and more by the neoliberalism which tries to replace it with a movement that promotes the competitivity as a reference value among the countries, the terrorist attacks are more and more violent, hundreds of young people and children falling victims in front of one of the most odious political-religious manifestation.

We are wondering what future do we shape for the young people? Will they live in a sure and prosperous Europe in which they can build their careers, have a house or set up a family?

Is the formal education ready to anticipate the evolution of jobs in order to adapt their youth training strategy to the labour market tendencies?

Are the governments ready to think about the youth and their future?

These reflections and these questions were the main reason for organising the seminar, outlining the main debate themes.

The state secretary of the Ministry of Public Consultation and Social Dialogue was invited, having an intervention and participating to the debates during the seminar.

Representatives of a youth organisation called The Pupils National Council were invited as well. The two representatives had one intervention each and actively participated to the debates.

Four main themes were treated:

●     Youth unemployment within different European countries - causes and perspectives;

●     The role of the formal education in fighting against unemployment;

●     The role of the European Union in limit the phenomenon;

●     The role of trade unions in reducing the youth unemployment and in setting up a strategy that would facilitate the youth access on the labour market.

Based on the presentations and the debates done, the following conclusions were outlined:

●     Youth unemployment is a severe problem in all European countries;

●     There is no unitary strategy to fight against this phenomenon at the European Union level;

●     The formal education could play an important role in solving youth unemployment, if the training programs are being adapted to the evolutions of the labour market.

●     The big companies need to provide their financial help, through internships for high school students, scholarships, job opportunities for young people;

●     The labour market needs to become more attractive and permissive for the young people;

●     The trade unions need to strongly and actively get involved in solving the youth unemployment by adopting certain measures on the labour market and by starting the social dialogue on this theme;

●     EZA developed a platform for young workers. We have recommended everyone to promote the activity of the platform and to encourage the young people to be active on it, informing themselves, consulting it and asking questions, along with adding their comments or sharing own personal experiences.

Seminar resolution

We cannot build development strategies of European Union without taking in consideration the youth. In the end, the effects of these strategies will be reflected in the life conditions, the prosperity and the security that we are offering them.

We cannot shape a future that does not take in consideration the needs of young people, their aspirations, their capacity of taking over and developing what we think and do today for them.

The young people need to be listen with attention, consistency and patience. Us, the adults, we can discover important and useful things that will help us to build a better and a more predictable future for its main beneficiaries - the today youth.



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