Crisis over? The unemployment rate in the European Union is back to pre-crisis levels. February 2019 saw an EU-28 unemployment figure of 6.5%, below the figure of 6.8% registered immediately prior to the 2008 crisis and representing the lowest jobless rate since the EU first started reporting monthly unemployment statistics in January 2000. Euro area unemployment is slightly higher at 7.8%, yet still represents a significant improvement since the dark days of 2013, when overall joblessness reached a staggering 12%.

Europe shouldn’t be complacent. Some analysts argue we’re too focused on the quantity of jobs and aren’t paying enough attention to quality; many European endure precarious job security and stagnant wages. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in some countries remains stubbornly high, and progress has been very slow compared to the United States, which went from an unemployment rate of 10% in 2009 to just 3.8% in March 2019.

What do our readers think? We had a comment from Cyril who wants to know what’s the best way to create jobs and tackle unemployment. He suggests either greater public investment, lower taxes, or a comprehensive reform of tax systems to benefits working and middle class households. What do MEPs think are the best ways to create jobs?

How would you help create jobs in Europe? We asked Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from all sides of the political spectrum to stake out their positions on this question, and it’s up to YOU to vote for the policies you favour. See what the different MEPs have to say, then vote at the bottom of this debate for the one you most agree with! Take part in the vote below and tell us who you support in the European Parliament!

Radical Left
Neoklis Sylikiotis (GUE-NGL), Member of the European Parliament:

What the EU needs is not only the creation of jobs, but the creation of permanent decent jobs with all labour rights fully safeguarded. And by decent jobs we mean what the ILO understands as decent, namely to guarantee job creation, rights at work, social protection and social dialogue as well as gender equality. We are very proud that in the Sylikiotis report on “working conditions and precarious employment” the parliament reintroduced the issue of decent jobs in the general employment discussion, and even reinforced it by highlighting that “ highlights that decent work should specifically provide:

– a living wage, also guaranteeing the right of freedom of association;
– collective agreements in line with Member States’ practices;
– workers’ participation in company matters in line with Member States’ practices;
– respect of collective bargaining;
– equal treatment of workers in the same workplace;
– workplace health and safety;
– social security protection for workers and their dependants;
– provisions on working and rest time;
– protection against dismissal;
– access to training and lifelong learning;
– support for work-life balance for all workers; stresses that to deliver on these rights it is also essential to improve the implementation of labour and social law

As a Member of the Left Group of the European Parliament (GUE/NGL) I of course support our proposals for long term public investments on crucial sectors of the real economy in order to sustainably create permanent decent jobs, especially for young people. This of course goes hand in hand with the end of the neoliberal austerity policies being imposed by the EU to its people. We need a stronger welfare state, to strengthen the purchasing power of the people in the EU, and create a safe investment environment through public investment (amongst others), in order for jobs to be created.

Jean Lambert (European Greens), Member of the European Parliament:

Liberal Democrats
Yana Toom (ALDE), Member of the European Parliament:

Centre Right
Heinz K. Becker (EPP), Member of the European Parliament:

We in the European Parliament – and me as co-chair of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee in the Parliament – have created some priorities, such as the Youth Guarantee, which brings jobs for unemployed young people; the European Employment Services (EURES), the platform network of the labour market agencies of all EU countries; also, the European Social Fund (ESF); further, the mastering of digitalisation in the working world and in labour markets; and, last but not least, [encouraging the participation in the labour market] of the elder generation and women.

Kristina Winberg (ECR), Member of the European Parliament:

Tim Aker (EFDD), Member of the European Parliament:

IMAGE CREDITS: (c) – BigStock Pra Chid; PORTRAIT CREDITS: Sylikiotis (cc) Flickr – GUE/NGL, Becker (cc) WikiMedia – Foto-AG Gymnasium Melle

Who do YOU agree with on this issue?


Results for this issue

See the overall results

9 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    Today it’s our turn to adjudicate the comments of all seven “full time & hard thinking MEP’s” and select a winner! All done under a “zero pay contract”!


    GUE-NGL: Comrade “Kolkhoz”- trembles with the 1848 Communist Manifesto…..
    ECR: a “national thing” to create jobs in member states……
    S&D: it is “the member states”……….
    Greens: quality not quantity, invest, digital age- close behind Comrade “Kolkhoz”
    ALDE: quoting statistic, adding value… no other way- nothing else…….
    EPP: create priorities, youth guarantee, digitization, use of elders & woman….
    ECR: free movement, but it’s a “national thing” to create jobs….
    EFDD: do nothing, “close the lobbying & legislation EP club”

    Tim is hitting my jackpot! Why? He is so refreshing honest & down to earth- admitting by doing nothing- would be best for the EU! …because it is the “Members” anyways- all the way!

    All other MEP’s comments are predictable party line, pc & “terribly sophisticated”.
    Conclusion & advice: to accelerate REAL job creation:

    * All MEP’s to be put on zero hour contracts (“as & when required”) and reduce the MEP’s in the EP by a minimum of 50%- due to a lack of political “creativity”!

    * Set an ultimatum: if nothing better emerges- replace all of them with electronic devices & screens (promoting the “digitization drive”) being operated by all national parliamentarians from home via 5G technology, cancel their contracts & give them “ordinary” retrenchment packages for producing ordinary ideas.

    Remember “The Apprentice”- “You’re fired!”?

    I am grateful for the coming long weekend to recover from my “zero pay contract” & relax! So sad about Notre Dame! Happy Easter!

  2. avatar

    It is impossible to answer in a comment. However, as huge ov an oversimplification as it is, creating a JOB needs to be related to purpose. So long as it will be profit bound, we will hereafter call it a “position”. There is NO private type of investment that can create jobs. Positions are defined by the company in order to play an integral part in developing revenue. And… That’s just about as much as I go… It will become too long to read… I’d like to have a debate over this but not via comments…. Let’s just say I would create purpose, not positions…

  3. avatar

    Local production of ALL needed.

  4. avatar

    If we need more migrants to fill the workforce needs, apparently we don’t need any more jobs.

  5. avatar

    What do we need, who makes it, what countries is it made in, where do the resources come from, who are the workers and what are their qualifications. Once we answer those questions we will know what to do.

  6. avatar

    Sadly the sensible Tim but not so dim Aker will not be in the EP much longer and it will be left to those who exist to make legislation

  7. avatar

    If Europe wants to create jobs, it is not to ask their ministers but to embrace the global system, which is to free Europe from ideological constraint created by superpower confrontation. It is just a rational decision to go global and grab all opportunities all over the world, like Italy, join the Belt and Road Initiative. It is a global scale economic development plan. In this new era, the global force is pushing everything forward and shrinking time and space in irresistible way and speed. To survive needs to embrace changes and follow the global current, not to stop and think of the good old days. The world has changed. It is time, the traditional wisdom of the founding fathers of EU needs to apply again, which is, collective security. European states are too small to resist the global turbulence.

  8. avatar

    Europe has been seeing freedom (individual) and liberty (economic) highest values, it is shocking to see Europeans are calling for politicians and governments to do more things rather than taking off your visible hands. The dynamic of socio-economic strength would only be released when people are given more freedom to do things. Of course policy support is important, which is, to facilitate people go global like Italy, join the Belt and Road Initiative, as the most robust developing economies are at the East.

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