Lithuanian Presidency EU Youth conference and meeting of Directors General (DGs) for Youth
9–12 September 2013, Vilnius, Lithuania
With a drive across Europe and beyond to discuss and adapt policy to support young people at risk in the crisis, the the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania, under the auspices of the Lithuanian Presidency, together with the European Youth Forum and the Lithuanian Youth Council has organised an EU Youth Conference and meeting of the Directors General for Youth Affairs on 9–12 September 2013 in Vilnius.
The purpose of the event, which takes place during each EU presidency cycle, is to discuss youth policy priorities and the results and process of the Structured Dialogue with young people on their participation in democratic life. This conference will focus particularly on the Lithuanian Presidency’s main priority in the youth field – social inclusion of young people, with a particular focus on the inclusion of young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs).
Among the participants are policymakers from the 28 EU Member States, candidate countries and the European Economic Area countries, as well as representatives from the European Youth Forum, Lithuania’s National Youth Council, the European Commission and other international non-governmental youth organisations.
A programme outline is available.
Addressing the problem of NEETs
On 10 September, in the session on ‘Social inclusion of NEETs in Europe’, Eurofound Research Manager Massimiliano Mascherini presented recent findings on the situation of NEETs. Drawing on Eurofound research on the topics of NEETs and labour market transitions of young people, he set the scene in relation to the difficulties facing the approximately 7.8 million NEETs (aged 15–24) across Europe, the main problems arising, the consequences and costs of youth disengagement, possible solutions to help improve the situation and how to prevent young people becoming NEET.
Among the main problems faced by NEETS are:
- disengagement from the labour market and society;
- feeling isolated;
- health risks;
- political marginalisation and extremism;
- likelihood of engaging in dangerous and asocial lifestyles.
Possible solutions to fight youth unemployment and reintegrate NEETs include:
- taking the diversity of the youth population into account in the policymaking process;
- offering practical possibilities to young people to complete their education, aiming to prevent early school-leaving;
- removing barriers to education and the labour market;
- providing a good job-seeking infrastructure;
- supporting school to work transitions via traineeships, internships and vocational training;
- offering guidance and support.
Mr Mascherini highlighted that youth unemployment is an ‘endless bleeding of talents’ and called on policymakers to take more preventative approaches and learn from each other in an effort to alleviate the situation.
Download his presentation Not in employment, education and training: A European picture of the NEET phenomenon (768 KB PDF).
Joint Conclusions from the conference will contribute to the draft Council Conclusions on enhancing the social inclusion of NEETs expected to be adopted by the EU national-level Ministers for Youth in November 2013.