Why finding a job is so hard in Europe? This is the issue the invited speakers tried to answer during a TEDx conference organised by the European Parliament in Paris, in the framework of the 25th of May European elections.
In the front of a hundred people, four points of view were presented and all the four gave different opinions about Europe and how it is involved against unemployment which concerns 11% of the active population and 25% of the 18 – 30 years old people. For instance, Pervenche Bérès, socialist MEP and EMPL (employment and social affairs) committee chairwoman expressed her concerns about the current situation vis-à-vis more and more critical European citizens, in spite of some important measures as the Youth guarantee for employment adopted by the European Council on the last June. For the MEP, Europe must be present for globalization and employment, otherwise, the Euro might be questioned harshly.
After that, Pierre Cahuc focused on the economic and social differences regarding unemployment and jobs within the European Union. According to the economist, member of the French Conseil d’analyse économique (CAE), there exist important gaps between states which have a strong unemployment rate (25%) and states which have an effective employment policy. Nonetheless, contrary to some stereotypes, the compensations for jobless people are more important in countries the most concerned by unemployment. In France for instance, compensations are much higher than Germany where a low unemployment rate did not prevent more precariousness inside the job market due to a weak compensation. For Cahuc, these differences should be taken into account to understand unemployment issue in the European Union better before reaching common strategy and policy.
But the crisis gives new opportunities and opens the way to other sectors or initiatives as social economy for instance. According to Jean-Marc Borello, SOS Group co-founder and MOUVES (social entrepreneur movement), the enterprise must not have a financial interest only, it must have a social and environmental impact too. Taking into account this, there is a new paradigm and a better growth and employment cycle, the social economy having an important potential for the future, giving more and more interest from European policies. On his side, Alexandre Malsch, 28-year-old entrepreneur told the story of Melty, the media group for the 15 – 25 years old people, he founded in 2010. According to him, it is needed Europe implements strict and clear rules to allow everyone to play in the same and equitable conditions, faced with competition mainly. Very relax as Mark Zuckenberg, the Facebook co-founder and CEO, the young businessman delivered his vision of employment and put forward the existing opportunities for young people, at the condition someone gives them their chance.
In a context dominated by very an increasing unemployment and a clearer and clearer distrust of citizens, it is the high interest of Europe to act, in the framework of its prerogatives according to the EU treaties. Indeed, although EU Member States get an exclusive competence about employment, the EU gets legitimacy and can use its influence to give a direction, even to impose a common strategy. On this point, the European Parliament may play its cards right insofar so as it backed some initiatives for employment, regarding young people especially as the European Youth Guarantee for employment who gives the opportunity to get a traineeship, formation or a job, four months after the completion of studies, for a graduated. Of course, there is still a lot and it is obvious it will not be enough to ensure people who are still experiencing crisis and jobless totally. However, in the framework of the European Parliament “ReACT campaign for the European elections, this issue is still in the top agenda.
PS : you can find and see a video dealing with the initiatives of the European Parliament about employment just below :