EYE Hearings promote “Ideas for a better Europe”

03. 12. 2014

Seven months after gathering in Strasbourg for the 2014 European Youth Event (EYE), young people that attended the event headed to the European Parliament in Brussels for a “speed hearing” on the issues and proposals discussed at EYE.

There was a palpable feeling of excitement in the European Parliament on 2nd December as the first of the European Youth Event Hearings started. Even though the EYE might now be a distant memory to some, the room, which was filled with EYE participants, was buzzing with ideas.

The speed hearing, led by four EYE representatives, was varied but focused, concentrating on youth unemployment, international mobility and diversity.

Johanna Nyman, newly elected president of the European Youth Forum, addressed the topic of entrepreneurship, noting the obstacles young people currently face in becoming entrepreneurs. She suggested having clear guidelines to provide information about entrepreneurship in schools, saying that “young people are an untapped resource” and that “knowledge is key.”

Recognising that entrepreneurship won’t solve youth unemployment, Johanna also touched on the issue of unpaid traineeships and internships in Europe. While 50% of young European have done an internship, she said, only 40% got remuneration. Solutions discussed at the EYE included providing clear learning contents from internships and requiring remuneration, both requirements that can be found in the European Youth Forum’s internship charter.

MEP Terry Reintke provided her thoughts on youth unemployment, saying that the mismatch of skills and jobs is not the sole reason for unemployment. She urged that short and medium term plans for those who are unemployed are found, instead of just focusing on long-term plans that fail to provide immediate relief.

These lively debates and hearings are crucial for voicing the ideas and proposals of young people, especially as they face the results of the crisis and high levels of youth unemployment. It’s imperative that we continue to work to create quality internships and apprenticeships for young Europeans and encourage education that leads to quality jobs in the future.

You can watch the live stream of the rest of the hearings here:

Keep up with the hearings on Twitter, using the hashtag #EYEHearings:

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