The future of the young is the future of Europe. We cannot fail them.
Implementing concrete and complementary action at national and European level is needed to fight youth unemployment in Europe. This was the clear message President Barroso conveyed at the round table for the Promotion of Youth Employment in Europe, hosted by Chancellor Merkel in Berlin on Wednesday.
"We need to give young people the hope and perspective they deserve wherever they live in Europe", said President at the joint press conference after the top-level event in Berlin, which brought together 20 leaders of EU member states and the EU institutions, labour ministers and national employment services.
President Barroso commended Germany and Chancellor Merkel for the initiative. While stressing that most of the responsibility and financial means to promote employment lie in the hands of member states, he underlined that the European Commission provides the European dimension: "The role of the European Commission is to act as a catalyst and complement national efforts - through funding programmes, through policy guidance and through facilitation of cross-border mobility and cooperation."
He highlighted five main areas where the Commission provides added value:
1: ensure implementation of country specific recommendations, including concrete structural reforms of labour markets
2: support member states in their efforts to implement the Youth Guarantee and by frontloading the Youth Employment Initiative.
3: accelerate work with member states so that European Social Fund can provide extensive support
4: promote cross-border mobility among young people
5: ease transition from education to work, e.g. through European Alliance for Apprenticeships and ERASMUS+
President Barroso concluded by emphasising that Europe is part of the solution: "The future of the young is the future of Europe. We cannot fail them."
President Barroso's remarks on recent developments in transatlantic relations during a visit of the European Commission in Vilnius at the start of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council on 5 July 2013