THE BLOG

No Light at the End of the Tunnel for the EU's Youth

12/11/2015 10:47 GMT | Updated 11/11/2016 10:12 GMT

The European Union is no friend of young Brits. No amount of expensive legislation, directives or schemes from Brussels have even come close to solving the issues affecting those under the age of 25. With record highs in youth unemployment, there is no real sign of any improvement. It seems as though there is no light at the end of the tunnel for the generation of us who will never have enough money to afford a small, one bedroom flat until late into our thirties.

The YEI (Youth Employment Initiative) was launched by the EU in February 2013 with all the promises you would expect from a government grasping at straws. This was supposedly the answer to the prayers of millions of young unemployed Europeans around the continent. Its goal? To bring down the alarming level of unemployment among Europe's young people.

With a million young Brits out of work, it's disturbing to reflect on a poll for the Prince's Trust - carried out in 2014 - showing that roughly the same amount of young people in Britain feel they 'have nothing to live for', and prospects are bleak for those leaving both Further and Higher education. Those who are lucky enough to find work often only end up in low-paid roles - perhaps because wages have been forced downwards by the migrant influx into the UK.

But, if you think Britain is bad, try living in Spain with a youth unemployment rate of over 50%!

It is impossible to underestimate how this huge depression has affected young Spaniards. "Si estás en poca de exámines y te encuentras nerviosca recuerda, NO HAY TRABAJO" - roughly translated it means: 'If you're coming up to exam time and you're nervous don't worry, there is no work!' It's a slogan you will probably not be aware of, but was created by an anti-government student group and shared many times across the internet. This really hits home the harsh reality of low job prospects of the young living in Spain.

Likewise the region of Epirus, in North West Greece, has one of the highest rates of youth unemployment in the whole of Europe at 69.8%. The European Commission has described Epirus as one of Greece's less-developed regions, yet has done nothing to try to solve the issues. Shocking data published earlier this year even suggested that if you're out of work in Greece, there is a good chance you may never find employment again!

However, as long as the precious European Union continues to dictate to its 28 Member States from flashy offices in Brussels - by those in nice suits and Ray-Ban® glasses - who really cares about these youngsters who are forced to the bottom of society?

Let's look at the actual numbers...

Today, more than 5 million young people aged 15-24 in the EU are unemployed. This represents a youth unemployment rate of 21.9% within the Union, which extends to 23.7% amongst the Eurozone nations. In other words, more than one in five young Europeans on the labour market cannot find a job. In Greece and Spain it is more, with one in two unemployed, and in other states such as Italy and Portugal record high levels have been reached this summer too.

Compare these figures to 10 years ago where only 18.9% of young people were unemployed (18.2% in the Eurozone) and it doesn't take long to realise things have got a lot worse. The rate in the worst affected countries, like Spain, Greece, Croatia and Italy, is still over 40%, two years after the launch of the YEI.

The European Parliament has said they hope to increase funding to help combat youth unemployment in 2016, but according to media reports around the continent, Member States are reluctant to help. Why? Because the YEI scheme - which has already cost €6 billion - has shown almost no results. During the EU Council summit in 2014, even German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted the Youth Employment Initiative has been a failure.

Suspiciously, a Freedom of Information request recently sent by Get Britain Out was rejected by the UK's Department of Work and Pensions. They informed us they are unable to give out information regarding the number of young people they are enrolling onto the scheme until the scheme has totally finished. This might be understandable - but it doesn't look like the ongoing results are going to be anything they will want to brag about does it?

Last week the Youthonomics Global Index (compiled by Paris-based think tank Youthonomics) released its latest report which aims to help young people discover where their best future prospects lie - politically, economically and socially. The report looked at 64 countries using 59 criteria, including youth unemployment, economic opportunities, quality and cost of education, housing affordability, age of elected leaders, work and living conditions and health and wellbeing. As always, non-EU nations Switzerland and Norway were way out on top - with Britain down to 16th place!

Regardless of what we are told by biased organisations, such as the National Union of Students and Universities UK, they fail to really stand up for those they are meant to represent. Young people do not need the European Union. To youngsters, the EU represents an undemocratic and top-heavy organisation they have never voted for - and which offers no solutions to the problems which really affect them.

Across Europe, Eurosceptic student groups are gradually coming together. They see the need for less government, not more. They realise the EU has been a cause of their troubles - or at least a symptom of the cause - which has done next to nothing to cure their problems. Just like many countries on the continent, Britain's youth is finally realising, the only way to truly solve this crisis is to Get Britain Out of the EU.