Towards a Europeanisation of Youth Employment Policies? A comparative Analysis of Regional Youth Guarantee Policy Designs

20 September 2016
Claire Dhéret (Head of Programme ‘Social Europe & Well-being’ & Senior Policy Analyst) and Julie Roden (Former Programme Assistant at the EPC)

The financial crisis hit young people in Europe disproportionately hard. At the height of the crisis in 2013, the youth unemployment rate of the EU-28 stood at 23.9%. The EU responded with the Youth Guarantee (YG) scheme, which ensures that “all young people under the age of 25 years receive a good quality offer of employment, continued education, apprenticeship or traineeship within a period of four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education.” This Issue Paper examines to what extent the key principles of the YG have been transposed into national and regional policies through a comparative analysis of youth guarantee schemes in five EU regions, namely Brussels-Capital, East Slovakia, Lombardy, South West Scotland and North-Brabant. It represents the final outcome of the EPC Task Force on Youth Employment that was established in 2014.

The study has shown that, although significant compliance efforts have been made in the policy design of the YG scheme to fulfil the main criteria of the 2013 Council Recommendation, they have not led to the same degree of convergence for each specific element of the Recommendation. The authors have therefore formulated a series of policy recommendations for the future implementation of the YG, and stress the importance of prolonging EU support, while concentrating on aspects where the EU can bring the most added value, i.e. in areas where member states would not act otherwise. This includes the outreach to the non-registered NEETs, including young migrants.

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