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Growth & jobs top agenda at EU summit - 18/03/2013

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso © EU

EU leaders discussed further measures to revive economic growth, generate jobs and help young unemployed people.

President José Manuel Barroso called for more measures to boost growth, productivity and employment.

Specific measures must be taken to help young unemployed people, he said. From January 2012 the Commission has been accelerating EU regional funding to 8 countries with the highest levels of young job-seekers.

Some €16 billion had been provided so far with promising results – some 780 000 young people and 55 000 small businesses are likely to benefit.

Jobs and training for young people

Getting more young people into jobs needs a sustained effort. The Commission is proposing specific measures in the form of a jobs & training guarantee for everyone under 25.

It would ensure they receive a quality job offer, continued education, or an apprenticeship or a traineeship within 4 months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed.

EU countries and the European Parliament should adopt the proposals quickly so the Commission can begin the programme as planned for 2014-20 (with a budget of €6bn).

EU leaders also discussed measures to match people with the skills the economy needs. Job opportunities exist and young people should be trained to fill them.

For example, the digital technology sector is having difficulty filling vacancies, with 900 000 new workers needed by 2015. In response the Commission has launched a skills programme to coordinate efforts by businesses, associations and EU countries to address the shortage.

International discussions

The Commission, which attends the G8 group English meeting, called for coordinated efforts to make payments to foreign governments transparent, prevent tax evasion and improve global trade.

President Barroso called for leaders to agree on Commission proposals to strengthen EU rules on reporting payments (taxes, royalties and bonuses) made to foreign governments. They should also quickly implement 2 Commission recommendations on tax evasion and avoidance.

President Barroso and other commissioners will meet with Russia’s government in Moscow on 21 & 22 March to discuss more trade cooperation, among other issues.

More on the March EU summit

President Barroso’s presentation to the European Council

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