Tackling youth joblessness among Italy’s priorities

A PERIOD of deep transition and multiple challenges: this is how Italy describes the conditions under which it took on its 11th presidency of the European Union from Greece on July 1. During the following six months the country will focus mostly on pursuing a job-friendly Europe and economic growth; improving the EU as an area of democracy, rights and freedoms; and the re-assessment of the global role of the EU in the international realm, with particular regard to ongoing international crises.

A PERIOD of deep transition and multiple challenges: this is how Italy describes the conditions under which it took on its 11th presidency of the European Union from Greece on July 1. During the following six months the country will focus mostly on pursuing a job-friendly Europe and economic growth; improving the EU as an area of democracy, rights and freedoms; and the re-assessment of the global role of the EU in the international realm, with particular regard to ongoing international crises.

“These are challenging targets, as this is also a transitional period: we recently held elections to the European Parliament, while the creation of the new EU Commission is still under way,” Roberto Martini, the Italian ambassador to Slovakia, told The Slovak Spectator in a recent interview.

In addition to these areas, the EU is still grappling with the economic and financial crisis, though Martini admits that there are some signs of recovery, as well as serious troubles on the international scene, like the conflicts in Ukraine, Iraq and Syria.

Among the most pressing issues is youth joblessness. Currently, about 26 million people across the EU are unemployed, most of whom are graduates without work experience, as reported by the SITA newswire. In this regard, Italy will try to help them via supporting effective implementation of the Youth Guarantee project, as well as investments in education, trainings and labour force mobility, the TASR newswire wrote.

The new Italian government has already put together a plan called ‘decreto occupazione’, or employment decree, focusing on the labour market, Martini told The Slovak Spectator. He stressed that at the European level, the different positions should be discussed at numerous forums, like the next EuroFin meeting.

During the following six months, Italy also wants to support a discussion over the creation of common asylum and immigration policy. In this regard, the ambassador pointed to the increasing number of illegal immigrants who try to enter the EU via Italy’s borders. It is not only a problem of southern Europe, but the whole union, Martini stressed, as reported by SITA.

During the July 8 press conference, Dušan Chrenek, head of the Representation of the EC in Slovakia, appreciated the work of Greece during its presidency, saying it is symbolic that the EU started recovering from the crisis during this time, since the country had been stricken the most and European problems were the most visible there.

“Greece has shown during its presidency its European commitment and leadership, has answered the challenges at home, but has also constructively contributed to the common European agenda,” Chrenek said, as quoted by TASR. He added that the country had to adopt tough reforms, and that nobody currently talks about Greece leaving the eurozone anymore.

Top stories

The referendum is said to protect traditional families.
Politics & society

Turnout key to referendum result

EVEN amid heated discussion about the content of a February 7 referendum targeting the constitutional definition of family, experts say the biggest test for supporters of the Alliance for Family (AZR) ballot initiative is whether turnout surpasses the required 50-percent quorum of eligible voters.

26. Jan 2015
One of the drugs to be withdrawn from pharmacies.
Business

Eleven generic drugs withdrawn from Slovak pharmacies

Slovak State Institute for Drug Control (ŠÚKL) on January 28 suspended the distribution of 11 generic drugs and withdrew them from the market.

29. Jan 2015
Krásna Hôrka Castle ablaze.
Culture & lifestyle

Reconstruction on Krásna Hôrka Castle continues

THE RECONSTRUCTION works on the Krásna Hôrka Castle, which was severely damaged by fire in 2012, continue in accordance with the plans, Judita Krajčiová of the Slovak National Museum (SNM) told the TASR newswire.

27. Jan 2015
Tom Nicholson
Opinion

Economy Minister Pavlis has to go

No one with such an obvious conflict of interest has any place in government.

30. Jan 2015