Closer cooperation between public employment services would help Member States anticipate and detect labour market problems earlier on, allowing for adequate action to be taken in good time.
Austerity may have been the necessary response for the short term — given the lack of a better design for the Economic and Monetary Union and in the absence of more solidarity — but it has made the crisis worse and it cannot represent the solution for the years to come.
It is now even more pressing to make sure that the most disadvantaged are not left behind. As the recent riots in Stockholm have shown, if we don't act to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged in our societies, the consequences can be far-reaching. Economic growth can only be sustainable if it is truly inclusive.
Member States must urgently take concrete steps to implement the Youth Guarantee, as agreed by the Council of Ministers. Under the Youth Guarantee every Member State should ensure that all young people under the age 25 receive an offer of a job, continued education, a traineeship or an apprenticeship within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education.
Today, as we face growing economic divergence in the monetary union, the theoretical options are either to let the union dis-integrate, or to go for a combination of labour mobility and fiscal support to those areas that are struggling.
Investing in young people's employability is vital in order to preserve our economies and well-being. The Youth Guarantee will generate a positive return by improving the economic situation, improving the employment rate and the competitiveness of our economy in the long run. In that sense it should be considered as a top priority on the EU agenda for structural reforms.
A monetary union is only sustainable if its Member States are able to collectively manage the economic fundamentals in a way that each country maintains opportunities to create prosperity and social progress.
Improving people’s professional and social skills, implementing strategies for active ageing, reconciling family and work, taking measures to boost youth employment are all an investment in our future economic prosperity and demographic balance.
We must do our utmost to ensure that employment and social cohesion are given substance in EU policy — on a par with financial consolidation and economic growth.
Working in another EU country should be as easy as working in your own Member State.