Today the European Commission proposes to make 1 billion euro from the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) available as early as this year.
This change will increase by up to 30 times the pre-financing Member States receive to boost youth employment—reaching up to 650 000 young people and helping them get into work, faster.
The first priority of this Commission is
- to strengthen Europe's competitiveness,
- stimulate investment and
- create jobs.
The 315 billion euro Investment Package can create millions of new jobs – not least for young people. But even when new jobs are created it is often very difficult for young people to successfully enter the job market. This is why the Youth Employment Initiative focuses particularly on getting young people back into work or training.
All member states have committed to the "Youth Guarantee": to provide young people under 25 with a quality job offer, an apprenticeship or training. Today's announcement would help make that guarantee a reality, in line with the Commission's commitment in its 2015 Work Programme.
Today's proposal would increase the Youth Employment Initiative pre-financing rate in its 2015 budget allocation from 1-1.5% to up to 30%. The 20 Member States benefiting from this initiative could therefore receive a third of the 3.2 billion euro allocation immediately after the adoption of the Operational Programmes. Member States are expected to make this funding available immediately to project beneficiaries through advance payments for projects, and this will be closely monitored.
The Commission estimates that this accelerated pre-financing could speed up immediate support and reach out to between 350 000 and 650 000 young people this year; at the current pre-financing rate, in contrast, this figure would be between just 14 000 and 22 000 young people.
This legislative proposal will now be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council, who have to adopt it before it can enter into force.