Speaking at the MEDEF (Movement of the French Enterprises) Summer University, in Paris, Commissioner László Andor called for stepping up efforts to fight unemployment, poverty and social exclusion, stressing that "a strong partnership with the social partners is essential to make it a success".
The European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion took the opportunity to present two flagship initiatives of the EU strategy Europe 2020 , that offers a vision of Europe's social market economy for the 21st century.
An Agenda for New Skills and Jobs seeks to create the right conditions for the modernisation of labour markets — "In particular by fostering the acquisition of the new skills needed to adapt to dynamic markets and increase productivity", Mr Andor explained.
Youth on the Move is an initiative especially dedicated to young people – "It seeks to help reduce unemployment among young people and help them to get onto the first rung of the employment ladder", the Commissioner added.
Talking to a group of journalists after visiting the Youth on the Move tent, set up to promote this initiative during the event, Commissioner Andor highlighted that according to a Eurobarometer of May 2011, "53% of younger Europeans are willing to move abroad for work, however finance is the main barrier". The same survey also shows that almost half of them (43%) want to set up their own business in the future: "We need you to encourage young people to create their own jobs by starting a small business", said Mr Andor.