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EU dispatches youth unemployment action team to Lithuania

Petras Vaida, BC, Vilnius, 16.02.2012.Print version
How can EU member states with high levels of youth unemployment use unallocated EU structural funds to help get young people into work? This is the question that the action team put in place by the European Commission (EC) on 14 February was trying to answer, reports.

Its members – the EC experts and representatives of national authorities and social partners – will be visiting Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy from 14 to 24 February, writes LETA/ELTA.


As agreed at the recent informal EU summit, this initiative is meant to identify targeted actions to reduce youth unemployment and help small and medium-sized businesses – which create 80 percent of jobs in Europe – obtain credit more easily. Following a proposal from EC President Jose Manuel Barroso, the experts will explore possibilities for reallocating just under EUR 30 billion of structural funds not yet used by these eight states.


They may consider, for example, the use of such funds to finance short-term measures such as making apprenticeships more readily available or providing support to employers. The team may also consider longer-term measures, such as adjustments to the tax system to encourage employment or education, or changes to training policies.


The aim is to draw up targeted plans by mid-April and to integrate them into the national reform programmes, which identify member states' economic policy priorities in the framework of the European Semester.

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