Joblessness among the youth continues to be a major issue in Croatia.
At this week’s session of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality of the European Parliament in Brussels, a vote was taken on the implementation of the Youth Employment Initiative in the Member States, reports Poslovni.hr on November 9, 2017.
Since the beginning of the economic crisis, the European Parliament has strongly supported the creation of a youth guarantee system, which was finally adopted in April 2013 as the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI). YEI is an initiative aimed at ensuring young people up to the age of 25 receive a good quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving school or becoming unemployed. In October 2016, The Commission has published a report on the implementation of the Youth Employment Initiative, presenting the results of the recent progress that showed that YEI surpassed expectations by achieving 1.4 million less unemployed young people in the EU than in 2013.
However, given that the unemployment is still very high, on 7 March 2017, the Council approved a financing plan securing an additional EUR 1.2 billion for YEI, after which the European Parliament, on 5 April 2017, voted on the revision of the multi-annual financial framework (MFF), thus granting the additional funding.
Croatian MEP Marijana Petir, as a shadow rapporteur for the European People’s Party has pointed out, in her amendments to the draft opinion of the Women’s Equality Committee, that the economic crisis has left a deep mark not only on youth unemployment but on working conditions of young employees, as well as on the overall demographic situation, living conditions and access to education and training. The MEP also highlighted that the problem of unemployment has to be accessed individually in each member state, noting that there is no identical solution for all because the situation and source of the issue are not the identical, which is why it is necessary to approach the policy-making separately ensuring that the needs of each member state are met and policies tailored accordingly.
“According to the latest analysis of the situation in Croatia, published in August 2017, Croatia has the third highest youth unemployment rate in the EU,” says Petir. She pointed out that the government should play a key role in tackling this issue by creating a friendly climate for young entrepreneurs as well as encouraging the redistribution of family responsibilities among the partners and thus facilitating the return of young mothers to the labour market after childbirth. “Improper employment conditions and failure to register unemployed young women in rural areas makes statistical data inaccurate and creates inequalities in pensions. This practice has a negative impact on society as a whole, especially for the benefit of women, both in terms of social security and career change and employment opportunities in general,” says Petir.
“I urge the Member States to support the involvement of all young people in this Initiative, especially girls and young women in rural areas, focusing on those with lower educational or professional levels to prevent their marginalization, as studies have shown that young people in rural areas are less informed about the possibilities available to them, ” concludes Petir and adds that Member States should further engage in securing training and education programmes that will develop and improve the IT and digital skills of young people, especially women and those who live in rural or remote areas, in order to help them achieve long-term, sustainable economic independence and become active job creators rather than passive short-term help recipients.
“Although according to official data, the youth unemployment rate in Croatia has dropped from 42.1% in 2012 to 31.1% in 2016, this figure still remains one of the highest in Europe and with the constant emigration of young people Croatia (nearly 80 000 young people has left Croatia in the last few years), the relevance of this data remains questionable. However, it is quite clear that taking further measures is of key importance for young people to stay in Croatia, which depends on whether they can find a job and ensure their existence,” says Petir.
Translated from Poslovni Dnevnik