Commissioner Hahn agrees with Spanish authorities to accelerate payments for Cohesion Fund projects

On 21 May, Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn reached an agreement with Spanish Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro in Madrid to accelerate payments for the closure of Cohesion Fund projects. This will release up to 939 million EUR which can be paid quicker to beneficiaries of environmental and transport projects, already completed. Furthermore the reprogramming of the current Cohesion Policy programmes was discussed in order to bring them in line with the Europe 2020 strategy on growth and jobs.

European Commission Action team leaves for Ireland

Today, the European Commission action team is going to Ireland, one of the Member States with very high youth unemployment. Ireland has almost 30% of young people without a job. This is mainly a result of the economic crisis that had a direct impact on sectors of the economy which were traditionally the largest source of labour demand, such as construction, manufacturing, retail or wholesale. Many young people are now unemployed because their skills do not match the needs of the market.

European Commission to assist member states in reprogramming unallocated EU funds

Why we need Action teams? Levels of youth unemployment are reaching very high levels in some Member States (see the table below) and this can have long term consequences with young Europeans becoming alienated from the world of work. This is why European leaders meeting in Brussels on 30 January 2012 (informal European Council) agreed to a strong drive to combat youth unemployment delivering quickly on two concrete objectives. First, we must do everything to help young people get in to work, education or training.

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