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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Youth Employment Initiative : €1 billion granted to EU Member States in 2015

Employment, Youth,

News The European Parliament approved the changes to the provisions of the European Social Fund (ESF), allowing the allocation of one billion euros to the EU member states in order to help 650 000 young people in access to employment through the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI). The Initiative is fully integrated into the ESF programming framework and is open to all regions with a level of youth unemployment above 25%.


The European Parliament approved the changes to the provisions of the European Social Fund (ESF), allowing the allocation of one billion euros to the EU member states in order to help 650 000 young people in access to employment through the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI). The Initiative is fully integrated into the ESF programming framework and is open to all regions with a level of youth unemployment above 25%.

The Commission proposal was approved without amendments by 632 votes to 30, with 31 abstentions.

The number of 15-25-year-olds who are neither employed nor in education or training, is growing alarmingly, especially in member states which have the most difficulty in matching EU funding for programmes. Frontloading funds is therefore of paramount importance.

YEI funding for 2014-2020 is €3.2 billion, to be matched by at least €3.2 billion from member states' European Social Fund allocations. By February this year, the European Commission had approved 28 out of 34 YEI operational programmes, all of which could receive up to a third of their allocations as soon as amended rules enter into force.

The €1 billion in YEI funding to be made available this year will boost the EU’s contribution towards project costs from 1-1.5% to 30% in 2015. But this is not new money, as the funds had already been set aside for the YEI.

The countries benefiting from the initiative are Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Member states will be able to launch the projects they need, but YEI operations must be implemented by the end of 2018. Progress on the ground in the early years will be crucial to the initiative’s overall success.

Next steps
The rule changes now need to be approved by the EU Council of Ministers, and will take effect on the day after their publication in the EU Official Journal.


Source :  European Parliament


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