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Unemployed people [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for unemployed people.

Are you, or is someone close to you, one of the nearly 19 million Europeans who were unemployed in 2017? Whatever the reasons for losing your job – the economic crisis, a skills mismatch, lack of education or training – the EU is putting measures in place to fight unemployment.


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© Andrey Popov / Fotolia

The EU wants 75 % of 20-64 year-olds to be in work by 2020. European employment strategy focuses on creating more and better jobs, and the ‘New Skills for New Jobs’ programme helps national governments to increase ‘flexicurity’, job quality, ensure better working conditions and create jobs. The 2012 employment and the youth employment packages introduced measures to tackle the demand side of job creation by reducing labour taxes and supporting business start-ups.

The European Social Fund (budget of over €86 billion for 2014-2020) finances projects that help people learn new skills and find jobs. The Employment and Social Innovation Programme (budget €920 million) aims at ensuring that those jobs are fair, durable, and involve adequate and decent social protection, while the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (budget €150 million) helps those who have lost their jobs when big companies reduce production or move it out of the EU, such as textile and clothing workers who face competition from Asia, or those employed in the manufacturing and car industries hardest-hit by global recession.

Sometimes, the problem is that there are no jobs at all in your region. The EU has set up the EURES network to help workers to move to work in any EU country (plus Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).

Further information

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