The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) launches its report “Tackling youth unemployment: let’s revive partnership between all governance levels”*, which offers a state of play of local government participation in the implementation of strategies to tackle youth unemployment in Europe. This report responds to the European Commission’s call to Member states to submit their national strategies for tackling youth unemployment through the “Youth Guarantee”*.
Furthermore, based on the success reached by many local governments, Cllr Mairi Evans (Councilor of Angus and Chair of CEMR committee of local and regional young elected representatives), highlights the need for a better cooperation between the local and the EU level: “The European institutions should make reference to the partnership approach in their proposals and conclusions on youth employment”, besides “Local and Regional Authorities should be more involved in systematic and regular exchange of good practices with EU partners.”
However, the CEMR report also reveals certain obstacles that local government finds when implementing youth employment programmes, including the reduction of budgets and cuts to services. In this regard, CEMR believes that national governments cannot only devolve the accountabilities to regional and local authorities but should also give them the possibility to participate in the design and programming stages of such measures.
The “Youth Guarantee” proposes a good scenario to better involve local government in the fight against youth unemployment
During a speech recently addressed at a Conference on “Youth Guarantee” in Greece, the Commissioner responsible for employment, social affairs and inclusion, László Andor highlighted the need for consistency and a strategic approach steered at national level - however, he pointed out "that the real action takes place — or may fail to take place — at local and regional level."
Although CEMR believes that “Youth Guarantee” is a good initiative to tackle youth unemployment, it considers that some flexibility is necessary to further local and regional authorities’ own work in fighting youth unemployment, while abstaining from certain imposed targets and measures that do not fit with local means and needs.
*“Tackling youth unemployment: let’s revive partnership between all governance levels”, has been carried jointly with CEMR and its member associations since September 2013. It was adopted during Executive Bureau meeting 05 March 2014, in Athens.