Speaking during a debate on an EU Youth Strategy in Brussels this afternoon, Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson said:

“As Rapporteur for the Regional Development Committee opinion on implementing an EU Youth Strategy, I identified the fight against youth unemployment as a priority given its devastating effects on communities through mass emigration and hopelessness leading to risk of suicide particularly among young people.

“The International Labour Organisation (ILO) states that for a European Youth Guarantee to be effective it needs €21Billion. Therefore, the current allocation of €8Billion is obviously inadequate.

“The concept of providing access to employment for young people through a Youth Guarantee Investment, is laudable and necessary but runs contrary to the austerity agenda being implemented by many governments across Europe which, rather than provide employment, ultimately results – to quote the President of Ireland in “stripping away of security of employment”.

“If we want sustainable jobs for young people then the Youth Guarantee needs to be adequately funded, needs to tackle youth unemployment and needs to be part of a broader economic strategy of investment in growth not subjected to austerity measures.”