The EU Youth Guarantee, which aims to help young people without jobs, training or education, has made limited progress, and its results fall short of initial expectations, according to a new report from the European Court of Auditors (ECA). Under the Youth Guarantee, Member States should ensure that all young people receive a good quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving school or becoming unemployed. In addition, the European Council established the Youth Employment Initiative to increase support for those regions and individuals struggling the most, with a budget of €6.4 billion.
The auditors visited Ireland, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Portugal and Slovakia. These Member States had made some progress in implementing the Youth Guarantee, and some results had been achieved. However, none had ensured that all those not in employment, education or training had the opportunity to take up an offer within four months.
“Over four million under-25s were still unemployed across the EU in mid-2016”, said Iliana Ivanova, the Member of the ECA responsible for the report. “Policymakers should ensure that programmes designed to help young people do not raise expectations which cannot be fulfilled. Indeed, the European Commission itself acknowledged in its recent White Paper on the Future of Europe that there is a mismatch between expectations and the EU’s capacity to meet them.”