In order to make better use of measures envisaged in the European Union's Youth Guarantee programme, which is the Union's new approach to tackling youth unemployment, participants in a panel discussion held in Zagreb on Thursday, called on Croatia to be more active and efficient in utilising the scheme.
The Youth Guarantee scheme ensures that all young people under 25, and in Croatia the limit being 30, get a good-quality, concrete offer within 4 months of them leaving formal education or becoming unemployed.
The good-quality offer should be for a job, apprenticeship, traineeship, or continued education and be adapted to each individual need and situation. EU countries endorsed the principle of the Youth Guarantee in April 2013. The Commission has helped each EU country to develop its own national Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan and start implementation.
A total of 144 million euros from EU funds and its own funds are available for Croatia for the 2014-2020 period under this scheme.
Croatian member of the European Parliament (MEP), Ivana Maletic, told the panel discussion, organised in the Information Office of the European Parliament in Zagreb and the Croatian Youth Network, that some young Croatians have never heard of the Youth Guarantee programme, let alone felt the changes of this scheme.
Maletic called on local authorities, particularly on the Employment Service, to be more active in this regard.
Croatia's youth jobless rate is the third highest in the 28-strong EU bloc, standing at 43%, and Spain and Greece are at the top of that ranking.
The lowest youth unemployment rate is in Germany, 7%, and the average of EU youth unemployment is 22%.