The European Parliament gives a strong chance to the EU to do more for young people

January 19, 2017

By adopting the report of Ms. Rodrigues on the European Pillar of Social Rights, the European Parliament today took a strong position against abuses that young people are facing on the labour market – including denouncing zero-hours contracts and calling for an urgent update of social protection systems.

The European Parliament is also recognising that supporting young people’s transition from education to work should be at the core of the European social model. The report advocates for a strong Youth Guarantee, proper learning and training content and decent working conditions for internships and apprenticeships.

With this Report, the European Parliament has opened the door for the EU to work on adequate national unemployment schemes. Current systems are out of date: Unemployment benefits are too often inaccessible to young people due to being engaged in precarious work or in new types of work, like the platform economy.

We only deplore the lack of commitment to achieving adequate and non-discriminatory minimum wages. Young people are greatly discriminated against in terms of the level of wages resulting in in-work poverty and increased inequality.

As Luis Alvarado, President of the European Youth Forum explains, “30% of young people are at risk of poverty and social exclusion in Europe today. The European Pillar of Social Rights has to bring young people back into the European project.”

With such a mandate from the Parliament, we now hope that the European Commission and the Member States will build on this report with real action.  With consultation from young people and civil society, we expect the Commission and Member States to establish a Pillar of Social Rights that guarantees access to autonomy and inclusion for all young people in Europe. The European Youth Forum is ready to support and engage in this process.


Read the statement in pdf

European Youth Forum AISBL

Rue de l’Industrie 10, 1000 Brussels

Tel.: +32 2 793 75 20
Fax : +32 2 893 25 80

With the support of
The European Commission
The European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe