Estonian Council presidency must tackle unemployment

Written by Yana Toom on 14 July 2017 in Opinion

One of the priorities of the Estonian presidency is ensuring equal opportunities in the labour market and social inclusion, explains Yana Toom.

Yana Toom | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual

In March 2017, the unemployment rate in the euro area stood at 9.5 per cent, down from 10.2 per cent in March 2016. 

However, despite recent improvements, unemployment rates have not yet returned to pre-crisis levels. The percentage of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion remains very high. Inequality reduces the output of the economy and the potential for sustainable growth.

One of the priorities of the Estonian presidency is ensuring equal opportunities in the labour market and social inclusion. How could this be achieved?

I believe that there is a great potential in minimum income schemes for poverty reduction - this could prove crucial to achieving the Europe 2020 poverty target and putting an end to in-work poverty.

Some key issues we must urgently tackle are the integration of long-term unemployed individuals through individually tailored measures, mutual recognition of skills and qualifications and the efficiency of the youth guarantee. All of these measures are still inadequately implemented in some member states.


About the author

Yana Toom (ALDE, EE) is a member of Parliament's employment and social affairs committee

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