banner_choose-your-futureNEW Youth unemployment in Europe is unacceptably high. One in five young people under 25 are out of work – and in some Southern European countries such as Spain it’s as high as one in two. Lacking work experience and all too often technical skills, Europe’s young people present a truly daunting challenge to politicians and policymakers; how in the short term can jobs be found for so many school-leavers and what measures could create a motivated new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators?

However, paradoxical though it may seem, rising unemployment, especially amongst young people, is accompanied by an increasingly severe labour shortage in Europe. In 2012, despite rising joblessness, there were 4 million unfilled jobs in the EU. Would-be employers complain above all about the lack of technically qualified job seekers, and by 2015 the shortage across Europe of high-tech personnel will be close to three quarters of a million. What should a comprehensive and far-sighted EU jobs strategy consist of?

To examine some of these questions in greater detail, Debating Europe and the League of Young Voters jointly organised an event entitled “Choose Your Future!” which focused on youth unemployment and education in the run-up to the 2014 European Parliament elections. The event was hosted by Microsoft Europe on Tuesday 21st January from 11:30 to 12:30 in the new Microsoft Centre in Brussels, with media partner Euronews.

Responding to YOUR questions were MEPs from each of the largest political parties in the European Parliament: Edit Bauer for the  Centre-Right EPP; Rebecca Harms for the  Greens; Mary Honeyball for the  Social Democrats PES and Phil Bennion for the  Liberal Democrats ALDE Party.

If you already know which EU party will offer the best prospects for young people click on the box below and VOTE NOW!

Vote 2014

Voting is closed in our Debating Europe Vote 2014! The results are now in, so come and see what our readers thought!

66 comments Post a commentcomment

  1. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Bruxelas e os estados membros terão que criar uma economia social de mercado onde a competividade a sustentabilidade o empreededorismo a inovação e conjuntamente com a evolução humana criam novas oprtunidades num mercado mais rico mais eficaz e justo

  2. avatar
    Olivier Laurent

    The EU cannot create jobs. Only individuals, private companies can. Stop taxing them like hell.

    • avatar


  3. avatar
    Mike Chambers

    Change restrictive labor laws around Europe so it is easier for companies to employ people.

  4. avatar
    Aleksander M

    What number of paid internships is foreseen in 2014 the EU institutions?

  5. avatar
    Jaime Martins

    Stop taxing people and give them real purchasing power, employment will increase, because companies will need to increase production. Firing without cause as someone here says, is not a solution to any country that has rulers who worry about his people. Companies that fire, they are creating a problem in the governance of the country, because they force the increasing in social support, or will you want people unemployed with no income to die faster?

  6. avatar
    Jaime Martins

    How do you want to have jobs for the young, continuing to increase the retirement age, in Portugal a person with 35 years is hardly getting a job, are they going to live with what income until reach the 67 years?

  7. avatar
    Semira Pashmineh-azar

    They should retire people at earlier age than 67 ( say 62) by this way they will have more jobs for younger people……..

  8. avatar
    Andrea Tuswald

    the EU can create jobs if it stops to cause unemployment. ruining economies is not a way to get through a crisis.

  9. avatar
    Carlos Neto

    Invest in the right places! Facilitate the creation of new business across the EU. All Europeans who want to be sucessful have to set their business either in the US or Asia. In the last 20 years, no European country has produced a new company who reached the top world companies. Guess how many were created in the above world areas? Change of focus will create employment!!

  10. avatar
    Morten Lund

    EU should not be so eager to spend money. Cost reductions means fitter production, means higher competitiveness, means new jobs.

    If you have not noticed, most startups within the computer industri that looks promising, are either acquired by or enrolled in binding agreements with US compagnies. The US watch this industri like their own baby. I fully understand them. It has taken lots of effort to creat this de facto monopoly. I also fully understand EU if they want to bring their own version of this strategic important industri to more life. (Who controls the trade, controls everything). For this task the EU need to take some dicisions. It is not the solution to let the fox guard the hen. I would certainly not ask the monopoly to help get rid of the monopoly. If microsoft is being part of European computer education, you lose an independent EU. Or you have to be extreamly smart to fool these guys, which I dont think is possible at foreseeable time.

    The brightest heads will be educated at our expence and immediately transfered to work for US compagnies. Our expence, their gain!

    • avatar
      Morten Lund

      Open source is the way. It is spread thru out the world and is transparent. I suggest that LiMux (Munic) among others, shoud start educating.

  11. avatar
    Sabo Doru-Cosmin

    Fight tax evasion, hidden money don’t like to go public and going public means also investing. So as long as you allow to much evasion those money will stay lazy in banks, not assuming to much risk, and no chances for future growth, and consequently new jobs. An earlier retirement is as well a solution.

    • avatar
      Miguel Teixeira

      Tax evasion and fraud is undoubtedly a win win situation for Europe, improving competition and raising more money that would allow either more public investment or lower taxes

  12. avatar

    I’m willing to put money on the outcome of this ‘discussion’: “We propose all power to the EU-rosoviets as the solution to everything”.

  13. avatar
    Θοδωρής Φουντουκίδης

    The issue is not just the EU to create new jobs for young people, but jobs with wages, by which we can live and not just vegetate or survive by borrowing. But the EU is far from interested for the youth …

  14. avatar
    Nicola Vallinoto

    with a European special plan for sustainable development and employment in a few words with a “New Deal for Europe” (if you are interested please join our community to support the European citizens initiative New Deal 4 Europe.

  15. avatar
    Ștefan Bădiță

    FIRST OF ALL: make a law around E.U like this: you are not allowed to have multiple jobs, if your money are enough. you are not allowed to be retired and to have a job…. in roumania we feel this very hard… for example some of the teachers are retired and yet in the schools, in the parliament, the thieves have multiple jobs, some of the medics are teachers, they are working at state hospital, they have private clinics, etc….

    • avatar
      Morten Lund

      Never try to stop entrepreneurship and villingness to work hard. It is a scourge from communism to put limits on effort. Notice that the countries that do best, are not doing that.

  16. avatar
    Juan M Rosillo

    EU cannot create new jobs directly but EU can foster jobs generation though economic policy changes. Moreover education system doesn´t match at all with companies requirements so we have to introduce changes in our education system like Germany has been doing over the last decade.

  17. avatar

    I am 26 from Croatia with university degree and I worked like intern for 1600 kuna (around 200 euros) for a year. Now, I am again without job and with no future. Here, the Government doesn’t do nothing to protect people. It protects only oligarchs and corrupted system. Also, the Government doesn’t have any strategy for economy depression.
    If I want to work, I must to seek politicians for find a job, or be member of some political party. But then I am not sure that I will find a job because politicians will find you a job only if you are loyal for party and politicians.
    Why EU tolerated that system, the system of corruption, nepotism, and unfair job competition?

    • avatar
      Morten Lund

      It is great that you choose to contribute to this debate. Have you considered to reeducate your self during this period of unemployment. You clearly have great strengths! The future is in the technology line of educations.

  18. avatar
    Borislav Valkov

    List of the people who are about to retire and give them youth for trainership. Also give more money for youh start up buisness.

  19. avatar
    Michiel Van de Peppel

    Since EU is the main cause of these terrible unemployment rates (because of an impossible currency named Euro), I suggest that EU abolishes itself and the Euro in order to decrease (youth) employment and make all Europe a better place. Please EU, stop pretending you can solve these problems. EU is mainly creating these kinds of problems by itself, by continuing the undemocratic, unwanted elite ideas of a federal Europe. Let’s start from the beginning, this time together with all people of Europe, choosing democratically which social and political system we want to live in.

    • avatar

      Do you know what will happen is Euro is abolished?
      1st the economy will plummet even more
      2nd the new DIFFERENT
      From each other currencies will be underestimated from the rest of the world
      3rd and due to underestimation something called plethorism will emerge the products will be more expensive and less affordable and the lifestyle we know will be perished

      Then bb world economy
      Plummet corruption of government and dissolvation of EU =DEAD END

  20. avatar
    Cris Hova

    There is a strange thing here, youngsters want to work, but they want to be paid from the start with at least 400-500 Euros and the employers don`t want to hire inexperienced young people. So, what`s the solving of this problem?

  21. avatar
    Panos Mentesidis

    This is a tough one…give incentives…like money to small and medium sized buisnesess in order to hire and train people…but that costs money…since you dont have money try to convince young people to start new business and the banks to supply loans with low interests and stuff. but since the banks in europe are pretty much broke after gambling away billions you cant do that either. hmm the only thing that can create the vast numbers of jobs required in order to perhaps half youth unmployment is big business…but you are gonna have to convince your friends to make less profit and hire more people and bring manufacturing jobs back from far east asia and so on and so on…which will be a burden for european politicians and we all know you guys are not willing to bring changes that will harm big business. I dont know EU, maybe gamble all your money in space exploration…it took the americans 9 years to go to the moon in the 1960s. think what you can do! maybe fund research to discover warp drives or a way to reduce the time it takes to travel in space, build a spacecraft and do what you do best Europe…Colonize! The unmployed will be send to the new planet and there you go! problem solved! Or you can build giant cities in Mars that will be self sustained or giant death star like space cities (I could have used elysium or anything else from scifi as refrence but I like the death star idea better) :P

  22. avatar
    Joel Dominic Rodrigues

    “… ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy We can begin by taking personal responsibility, both for ourselves and for where the governments of our countries have failed. The Euro & EU has nothing to do with these failures. For those willing to put in the effort to build a better future for ourselves, our countries and Europe, there are countless resources already at hand, with many more new initiatives on the way. BTW, it’s not the job of governments to create jobs, only to facilitate the creation of businesses that create employment. Hopefully there will be more action in that direction, particularly to assist small businesses and entrepreneurs.

  23. avatar
    John Bevegård

    hi mi rthink the eu should help and stimulate the young more create a ecofriendly green sustainable economy in eu a powerful a seu a soft power we need the eu come together all in europe share the true democratic values and ideas with the world a strong eu in the global world create a democratic environmentally friendly and, a great union in the world the eu. great from. fr johnnyb.

  24. avatar
    Hamza Serry-Senhaji

    First, jobs are not created by government but by the free enterprise system. Second, policy should aim at cutting red-tape, reducing taxes, making labor laws more flexible and reducing the costs of starting a business since most jobs are created by SME’s. The ECB should support easing of credit to SME’s especially in southern Europe. Third, closing the skills gap by investing in education and making math, engineering ,sciences and entrepreneurship attractive because in the digital age and knowledge economy most well paid jobs will be science/engineering related. Actually there is a shortage of these kind of jobs yet unemployment remains high.

    • avatar
      Morten Lund

      I agree completly.

    • avatar

      You forgot something my friend EU shouldd definitely focus on what y said but it should also boost he agricultural economy raising animals and working on grocery should provide employment and considerable income:-)

  25. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    1) Stop austerity
    2) Force the big enterprises to return to Europe.
    3) Tax the import products
    4) Share the production, proportional all over Europe
    5) Target the economic integration
    6) Invest to new technologies and to green and sustainable forms of energy

    • avatar
      Morten Lund

      Seems like comando economic.

    • avatar

      This cant happen man please next time think if what y type is realistic if things were that way everything was going to happen free of charge and everything and green forces of energy are more expensive
      Who will pay for the lives of the people who provide this services

    • avatar

      So realistic

  26. avatar

    I have an idea to create new jobs. It’s an idea by Arnold Cornelis, knowledge theoricean.
    The idea is:
    Let a man who is 40 years or older who wants to work, work at an organisation or company. He is not told what to do. Let him walk around in the organisation for about 3 months. He will communicate with employers, who know the organisation and know what can be done (but haven’t time to do it by themselves). After the 3 months he comes with a list of much work to do. He can’t do it by himself. So he can get, let’s say, 5 humans to get the work done, young humans and he has to coach them. By this way creation of new jobs goes together with innovation by the new philosophy of what Cornelis calls “communicative selfsteering”.
    some remarks:
    – Why needs the man be 40 years or older. Cornelis supposes that a human being can steer himself when he has reaced the age of 40 years, by that age he has developed a own logic of selfsteering.
    – The young people are coached by the man. A human who can steer himself, can also learn others to steer himself.
    – the list of work to be done needs to be extra work, extra projects, not work to change the whole organisation (or just a bit and spread out over time).

  27. avatar
    Peter Stefanov

    Reduce income tax and partially cover social insurance for the first 1-2 years of employment for every person that has never worked before (age is irrelevant, everyone deserves a first chance). Make the reduction person-dependent, not company-dependent. The tax reduction should offset the training cost of a new employee and thus incentivize companies to train new people instead of leaving positions empty until they can snatch an experienced employee from the competition.
    A separate program should incentivize experienced employees to create start-ups and thus increase the overall jobs pool

  28. avatar
    Jaime Martins

    Yes Europe must do whatever it can to motivate, create and evolve in research and creation, whether scientific and technological or not allow disinvestment that some countries are doing because they’re not concerned the future of the excellent results they’re getting, I’m Portuguese and my Government is destroying what good was created in research in my country. Will not be only my country who lose, but also Europe, if these results disappear, will be a return to the past.

  29. avatar
    Pedro Redondeiro

    YES it MUST, it is almost EU’s DUTY to do it! This is the only way, for europe to gain a competittive postion!

  30. avatar

    The best way to create jobs in Europe is to establish higher taxes for imported products from outside European Union. It won’t be profitable to build factories in countries where are low production costs and those manufacturers who produce in other continents and then sell in EU will be forced to move production to European Union and give job to people here.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      You gotta love protectionism….

      If the EU was such a big player on the world stage then you may get away with it, unfortunately the Asian and American markets will just reciprocate with import duties on EU products and Europe will come second best in that sort of trade war.

      It may well create jobs but the hugh increase in costs will mean no one stuck in the Euro-bubble would be able to afford to buy anything with their wages

  31. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    It seems to me, you’ve already chosen the youngsters’ future for them and it doesn’t look very bright.

  32. avatar
    Daniel Madruga

    [Industrial Economy]

    Obligate foreign factories that import their products to Europe to stand by the same regulation as European Factories. By inspectionating them.
    A mecanical Factory like BMW’s or Mercedes-Benz it’s more clean than an candle one in China, or Vietnam. In this matter relies and international injustice, that USA and Europe ought to fight together against it. This will reduce Billionaire’s margins, reinvidicate better life conditions for third world countries, and re-strengthen middle class in both Europe and USA.

  33. avatar
    Christoforos PAVLAKIS

    How can the private sector help graduates in their transition to work life? Can business, like Microsoft, run training schemes to make them meet the labour demands and find a job? Thank you in advance.

  34. avatar
    Coordinamento Provinciale dei Comitati Salute e Ambiente - Reggio Emilia

    ITALY: a #ReggioEmilia manca davvero poco per riuscire a #ripubblicizzare un #benecomune come l’#acqua, processo unico in #Italia di distacco da una #multiutility. l’unica maniera per salvarla definitivamente dalle grinfie della borsa attraverso un’#aziendaspeciale. supportate la petizione!
    ci vuole tanto per cambiare la storia, ma ci vuole niente per un click

  35. avatar

    #skillsmismatch We often speak about soft skills. But aren’t STEM more difficult to be developed and so need more attention?

  36. avatar
    European youth Utd.

    The whole employment politics should definitely make a turn… otherwise we will have to opt for population control if the boat is sinking that fast. European youth? What are they here for?
    2 minutes ago · Like

  37. avatar

    i wish Mr. J.Barosso and his choosen stay in high place in european parliament.
    how about that?

    hartelijk dankt

  38. avatar

    this lieder alliance is not convience

  39. avatar
    Jaime Martins

    what help are you giving to countries in difficulty, if you’re forcing the new and more experienced researchers to abandon their country?
    We have conditions for them to work, but because of Troika cuts, They lost funding to perform their job, to perform the great work that they do, why not support this investment which will be a gain for countries and for Europe?

  40. avatar

    I think this is a more complex issue than we realise.We also have a once in a generation chance to make much needed reforms.As a job seeker with additional barriers,I think both companies and governments must do a lot more to address accessibility issues that prevent otherwise qualified people like me from filling jobs due to lack of understanding of the issues.

    Secondly we must do much more to invest in the future of young people in general to stave off the effects of hopelessness,reduce the crime rate (as rising unemployment often leads to higher crime rates in countries that have high unemployment),tackle unemployment,improve regulations so that they are better understood by employers and job seekers,teach jobseekers skills that will make them more employable and in order to do this,academic establishments must reform their courses and degrees so that degrees actually lead to a job instead of promises for a job only to be met with long term unemployment at the end of the course with rising student debts.

    Finally we need people in general to be more understanding and compassionate towards the unemployed,instead of being quick to demonise them (like in the UK,thanks to the conservative government) and writing them off as useless,we must do whatever it takes to get these people off the streets and into work and in order to do that we must make an effective approach which addresses all the issues tied to unemployment and not just unemployment itself,as this is just a symptom of the wider issues.

    I’m in the UK and am happy to contribute to this debate.Thanks for understanding :-)

    • avatar
      Paul X

      The UK is not quick to demonise the umemployed

      Those who choose to make themselves unemployable are a different matter…….

    • avatar

      Well ok but I based that comment on observations I had seen so far.The mileage will definitely vary though as not everyone in the UK will feel that’s happening where they live.Also listen to the way Ian Duncan Smith and the party talk about the unemployed.Then you’ll find your answer.

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