The EU’s unemployment rate is hovering around 10%. That’s high, but it’s nothing new in itself; many European countries experienced similarly high unemployment rates after the 1960s. However, the headline EU figure is misleading because it masks a great deal of divergence between national economies. Some EU Member States have an unemployment rate below 5%, while others suffer joblessness at above 20%.
We had a comment from George, who argued that one of the fundamental economic principles behind European integration was supposed to have been the gradual convergence between the economic performance of rich and poor countries. However, George argues that this convergence has not happened (or, at least, has not happened fast enough).
During a recent event hosted by our partner think-tank Friends of Europe, we caught up with Jyrki Katainen, EU Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, and former Prime Minister of Finland (2011-2014). We asked him how he would react to George’s comment, and if he believed that the EU should focus its employment and growth policies on those countries that most need jobs?
Why do some European countries have higher unemployment than others? Should the EU should focus its employment and growth policies on those countries that most need jobs? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!
IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Matt Brown
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