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Brussels suggests Spain follow Catalonia’s plan for youth employment

Speaking to the Economic Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, the European Commissioner for Employment, Lázló Andor, said that Spain should profit from its decentralised organisation to help fight youth unemployment. He suggested that the rest of Spain’s Autonomous Communities should follow the examples of Catalonia and Navarra to improve employment levels among youngsters. The European Commissioner said that Spanish authorities should take note of the plans launched by Catalonia and Navarra, where the youth unemployment situation “is better than the national average”. However, despite these levels being lower than in most of Spain, youth unemployment in Catalonia is worryingly high, at more than 53% in July.

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22 November 2013 07:48 PM

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ACN

Brussels (ACN).- The European Commissioner for Employment, Lázló Andor, said that Spain should profit from its decentralised organisation to help fight youth unemployment. He suggested that the rest of Spanish Autonomous Communities should follow the examples of Catalonia and Navarra to improve employment levels among youngsters. Andor made the suggestion before the Economic Affairs Committee of the European Parliament. The European Commissioner said that Spanish authorities should take note of the plans launched by Catalonia and Navarra, where the youth unemployment situation “is better than the national average”. Furthermore, he supported those plans and said they should continue.  However, despite these levels being lower than in most of Spain, youth unemployment in Catalonia is worryingly high, at more than 53% in July. The Catalan Government approved a new version of its ‘Inserjoves’ plan in September, allocating €50 million to tackle youth unemployment.


On Thursday, during a dialogue held within the European Parliament’s Committee of Economic Affairs, Commissioner Andor praised Catalonia and Navarro as best-practice examples to be copied by the rest of Spain regarding the fight against youth unemployment, which is spectacularly high throughout the country.

Spain should profit from its decentralised structure

Andor explained that the situation in both Autonomous Communities “is better than the national average”. He has recommended that the Spanish Government profit from its decentralised territorial organisation based on Autonomous Communities to implement more targeted plans, in line with the needs of each territory. In this vein, he asked the Spanish Government to support Catalonia’s and Navarra’s current schemes in this field. On top of this, he stated that the Catalan and Navarran models should be followed by the rest of the Autonomous Communities as positive policy-making examples.

The EU has €6 billion to be distributed to fight unemployment

The European Commissioner pointed out that 20 EU Member States, including Spain, can benefit from the Youth Employment Initiative, which is a new financial tool to support the implementation of plans targeting youth unemployment. In order to participate in the initiative and be entitled to receive funds, those plans should be sent to Brussels before Christmas. “It is important that the plans are ready because this opens the door to receiving funds”, he insisted.

Andor explained that “6 Member States have already sent their plans”, but that the remaining 14 are still awaited. “Otherwise they will not benefit from the €6 billion, which will start to be distributed in early 2014”, he warned. Furthermore, he added that “the plans cannot be simple summaries” of the actions already made by each country to tackle youth unemployment.

Catalonia’s plan

On the 17th September, the Catalan Government approved its new version of its plan to fight youth unemployment, called Inserjoves. It allocates €50 million to tackle this issue. The new employment plan includes a series of programmes targeting people below 30 or students who are combining work and studies. Furthermore, it also proposes several programmes that focus specifically on training, to be developed in Catalonia or abroad. According to the Catalan Government, the plan should benefit around 33,100 youngsters in 2013, allowing the introduction into the labour market of 3,600 of them.

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  • The European Commissioner for Employment, Lázló Andor, talking before Strasbourg's Plennary Session (by European Parliament)

  • The European Commissioner for Employment, Lázló Andor, talking before Strasbourg's Plennary Session (by European Parliament)