Young people must be front and centre in the recovery, PES EPSCO says

08/06/2020

PES tourism ministerial

Members of the PES EPSCO meeting by videoconference

The recovery must meet the needs of young people or risk creating a lost generation of Europeans, ministers from the PES said today as they met by videoconference ahead of an informal EPSCO meeting tomorrow.

Socialist ministers met to discuss the EU Recovery Package, the challenge of rising youth unemployment, the Child Guarantee and wages.

PES EPSCO Chair and Portuguese Minister for Labour, Solidarity and Social Security Ana Mendes Godinho said:

“There are now clear signals that our economies are being confronted with another socioeconomic crisis. Unemployment is on the rise and young people are really feeling the brunt. This crisis has destroyed their jobs, disrupted their education and training and placed major obstacles in the way of those trying to enter the labour market. Without help, the career and educational prospects for these young people could be scarred forever.

“In the last crisis, the Party of European Socialists developed the Youth Guarantee as an answer to youth unemployment. Action is needed again now, and I am glad to see that progressive efforts within the Commission mean work is already underway on the Youth Guarantee.

“As we have seen with every economic crisis to date, the young and vulnerable groups are hit hardest. We will not stand by and watch as inequality and poverty increases. We are pushing for a strong recovery package, which supports young people, delivers decent wages, and strengthens our social model and the green and digital transitions.”

Support for young people is a priority for the PES. We developed the Youth Guarantee and successfully pushed for the inclusion of the Child Guarantee in the European Commission’s work programme. As Europe starts along the road to recovery, these proposals and others from our political family will be more important than ever to ensure the next generation of Europeans can access high-quality education, training and jobs.

The PES EPSCO ministers also took the opportunity to discuss the upcoming Presidency of the Council of the EU with colleagues from SPD Germany. The ministers discussed what action the next Presidency will take to progress the EU towards a fairer, more inclusive and more sustainable future.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Ana Mendes Godinho, Chair, Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, Portugal
  • Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, European Commission
  • Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality, European Commission
  • Tuula Haatainen, Minister of Employment, Finland
  • Rolf Schmachtenberg, State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Germany
  • Owen Bonnici, Minister of Education and Employment, Malta
  • Linda Grape, State Secretary to the Minister for Employment, Sweden
  • Agnes Jongerius MEP, EMPL Coordinator, S&D group in the European Parliament, Chair of PES Social Europe Network
  • Heléne Fritzon MEP, EMPL Coordinator, S&D Vice President, S&D group in the European Parliament
  • Vincent Bocquillon, Head of Unit for Employment, Culture, Social Policy and Gender Equality for the S&D group in the European Parliament. Adviser to Agnes Jongerius MEP and Helene Fritzon MEP, S&D group in the European Parliament
  • Luca Visentini, General Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation
  • Liina Carr, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation