Ursula von der Leyen says young people give her confidence
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Pro-Brexit think tank Facts4EU’s latest report, entitled “How UK’s performance has shamed EU – Tragedy of EU’s lost youth”, used figures from Eurostat, the EU’s statistics division, to highlight shockingly high average levels of youth unemployment in the EU27 in comparison with the UK. Last year, the average percentage of people and 16 to 24 who were without a job stood at 16.8 percent, compared with 11.8 percent for Britain – in other words, 42 percent higher as a proportion of the UK figure.
For years youth unemployment across the EU has been shameful
Throughout the course of the 21st century, youth unemployment within the EU has been on average 26 percent higher than in Britain, and in 2016, the year of the Brexit referendum, it was a whopping 52 percent higher.
A chart produced by Facts4EU indicates that last year’s figure for the UK – 11.8 percent – was dwarfed by numerous EU countries, including Spain (38.3 percent), Italy (29.4 percent) and France (20.2 percent).
Report author David Evans said: “For years youth unemployment across the EU has been shameful.”
Mr Evans added: “The EU Commission indulges in youth parliaments and youth communication reach-outs, while ordinary young people across the EU simply want to find gainful employment.
“For years Facts4EU.Org has reported on the tragedy of the very high levels of youth unemployment in many parts of the EU.
“Our chart of the EU average in this century disguises the serious situation in many EU countries, where a generation has been deeply affected.”
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Mr Evans explained: “During this time the UK has also suffered youth unemployment and most people would agree that the rate is too high.
“This almost pales into insignificance when looking at the record in many EU countries, however.
“In almost half of the EU in the last 20 years, an average of between one in five and one in three young people have been jobless.”
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Mr Evans said: “The EU Commission definitely talks a great deal about young people.
“Indeed on September 15, 2021, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proclaimed that next year will be the ‘Year of European Youth’.
“The problem is that so often the Commission’s pronouncements are about its various youth brainwashing programmes, initiatives and policies.”
Billions of euros were spent each year on programmes including Erasmus+, the European Education Area, and the European Solidarity Corps, Mr Evans pointed out.
He said: “We can only wonder what impact the EU might have had if it spent less time and money on its youth propaganda projects and more time supporting work initiatives to get Europe’s young people into work.
“In the meantime, young people in many EU countries should really be asking themselves: ‘Has my country’s EU membership actually helped me?’”
Ms von der Leyen last month delivered a speech in which she confirmed 2022 would be the “Year of European Youth”.
She subsequently shared link of a clip via her Twitter account, commenting: “We can draw so much inspiration from Europe’s youth.
“To empower those who have dedicated so much to others, we propose to make 2022 the Year of European Youth.
“And with our new programme ALMA, young people will be able to find temporary work experience in another Member State.”
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