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Eurofound and European Commission discuss further cooperation in youth policy

Eurofound Executive Director Ivailo Kalfin met with Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth in Brussels this week to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on young people in the EU, as well as the forthcoming European Year of Youth 2022.

Eurofound’s research shows that COVID-19 ended a six-year decline in youth unemployment, with young people more likely to find themselves unemployed and to report poor mental health than the rest of the population. Young people were hit particularly hard both economically and socially with the pandemic striking Europe as youth unemployment was returning to pre-economic crisis levels for the first time.

Various measures were implemented across the EU to support young people in the immediate aftermath of COVID-19, with Member States drawing on support from EU financing under NextGenerationEU and the long-term EU budget, as well as furthering commitments such as the reinforced Youth Guarantee. Eurofound’s latest research includes further recommendations to improve the longer-term situation of young people so that they are resilient to future shocks. Commissioner Gabriel has invited Eurofound to present to the European Commission’s special group on youth, which is part of the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, in February 2022.

Speaking following the meeting Commissioner Gabriel said:

‘I welcome Eurofound’s report on the Impact of COVID-19 on young people in the EU, and the Agency’s ongoing commitment to youth issues in its research, this is very timely and fully in line with the European Commission’s priorities and the forthcoming European Year of Youth.’

Ivailo Kalfin said:

‘I am pleased to have had this productive meeting with Commissioner Gabriel, addressing the concerns of young people and the impacts of COVID-19 on younger generations is at the forefront of the European Commission’s priorities and Eurofound will continue to provide evidence-based research in this area.’


Image: © Pierre Baussand/Eurofound 2021

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