Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs
Presidency of the Council of the European Union: Discussion with Minister of State
I thank the Minister of State for a comprehensive overview of the programme in which we will engage for the next six months. On the problem of youth unemployment, which Deputy O'Reilly raised and to which I referred at a meeting this morning, what action does the Minister of State anticipate on this issue in the next six months? While the unemployment rate, especially for those aged under 25 years, is bad here, it is much worse in some other European countries. In Spain, for example, youth unemployment is in excess of 50%. Will European Union funding be made available to national governments to address this issue in the next six months? While I am aware that some progress and proposals have been made on the issue, will a comprehensive proposal emerge in the next six months to address this difficult issue? We must ensure young people are able to enter the workforce and do not become alienated from the system. I welcome members of the recently established Europa Society from University College Cork.