Youth unemployment

EIB delivers on increased SME lending and approves support for youth employment

The board of the European Investment Bank, comprising directors from 28 EU member states and the European Commission, approved significant new support for stimulating investment by SME and mid-cap companies (up to 3000 employees). The board also agreed new initiatives for tackling youth unemployment and providing trade finance for export focused European companies in programme countries.

The President of the EIB, Werner Hoyer, commented: “The European Investment Bank is committed to delivering significantly increased lending for SME’s and investment crucial for economic growth as agreed at the European Council three weeks ago. The EIB is also enabling enhanced investment to improve skills and increase jobs by businesses across Europe to fight youth unemployment.” In addition the President stated: “As the EU Bank, we welcome the strong support shown by our shareholders to allow the EIB to make an exceptional contribution to help small businesses and fully support the EU’s Youth Employment Initiative.”

The board today approved a significant increase of the lending target for SMEs during 2013, up from the originally planned EUR 14.1 billion to EUR 17 billion. This brings the overall EIB Group support close to EUR 20 billion, with the European Investment Fund focussing on venture capital, guarantees and microfinance. The board also approved EIB loans totalling EUR 3.8 billion for lending to small and medium sized businesses and mid-cap companies across the EU. This will bring total EIB support for European SMEs and mid-caps approved so far in 2013 up to some EUR 9.4 billion compared to EUR 6.4 billion in the same period last year.

Furthermore the board approved projects in the other priority sectors, totalling around EUR 7 billion, including innovation, energy projects and strategic health and transport infrastructure.

Read the full press release Source: European Commission -  23 July 2013

EIB dedicated programme to fight against youth unemployment

'The European Council on 27-28 June decided to launch a new “Investment Plan” and to intensify the fight against youth unemployment by utilizing the financial support of the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The EIB will launch with immediate effect a dedicated youth employment programme “Skills and Jobs – Investing for Youth” to help counteract the rapid increase in youth unemployment in Europe.

The programme is based on two pillars. The pillar “Jobs for Youth” will provide SMEs with better access to finance and link EIB financing to the employment of young people in SMEs. The second pillar “Investment in Skills” will support job -related skills and on-the-job-training by investing in educational facilities (universities, research facilities), vocational training programmes, student loans and mobility programmes.

During his discussion with the Heads of States and Governments President Hoyer reiterated that the EIB is on good track with its business plan following the capital increase of EUR 10 billion. Hoyer: “We have delivered and we are delivering with the successful implementation of the capital increase.” He underlined that that “the EU Bank has taken a clear counter-cyclical course and is investing in regions where others have left the markets.” He made it clear that the Bank has a strong focus on small and medium sized enterprises and the knowledge economy but that it will also continue to provide long-term financing in all member states in strategic infrastructure (e.g. broadband technology, energy or transport infrastructure) to improve Europe`s competitiveness on the global markets. He further emphasised that the Bank is developing new products, such as a trade finance scheme for Greece, SME Guarantee programmes and the Project Bonds Initiative that the EIB is currently introducing to the markets in a pilot phase.'

Source: Abstracts from the official press relase of the EIB. Read the full press release


Youth Employment Initiative - initial and revised programming (26 June 2013)

Based on the draft budget agreed between the European Parliament and the Council Presidency on 26 June.

On 3 July EU heads of states decided to increase the budget for  the Youth Employment Initiative by 2 billion EUR.  We will update the figures as soon as they are available

Data: European Commission More information on the draft budget 2014-2020

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The European Commission's added value to the Member States' efforts in tackling youth unemployment

Following the Round table on Youth Employment in Europe, which took place in Berlin on 3 July 2013, President Barroso talked about the role of the European Commission in fighting youth unemployment: 'The role of the European Commission is to act as a catalyst, complementing and supporting national efforts – namely through funding programmes that we are for instance blending and leveraging with the EIB allowing the structural funds to be mobilized for this most urgent priority'. President Barroso mentioned five areas of Commission added value:

  • ensure implementation of the Country Specific Recommendations where urgent steps have been identified, including concrete structural reforms of labour markets, to combat youth unemployment;
  • Support Member States in their efforts to implement the Youth Guarantee schemes and by frontloading the Youth Employment Initiative. Dedicated Youth Employment Action Teams will directly assist the Member States upon their request;
  • Accelerate work with Member States on the Partnership Agreements, so that the European Social Fund, can provide extensive support to human capital;
  • Promote cross-border mobility among young people;
  • Ease transition from education to work: for example the European Alliance for Apprenticeships was launched yesterday, and we will move fast with implementation of "ERASMUS +".

Read the full statement following the Roundtable on Youth Unemployment in Europe

Source: European Commission

Youth Employment-related Country-Specific Recommendations


  • Simplify and reinforce coherence between employment incentives, activation policies, labour matching, education, lifelong learning and vocational training policies for older people and youth.


  • Accelerate the national Youth Employment Initiative, for example through a Youth Guarantee.
  • Adopt the School Education Act and pursue the reform of higher education, in particular through better aligning outcomes to labour-market needs and strengthening cooperation between education, research and business.


  • Improve the quality of vocational training to reduce drop-out rates and increase the number of apprenticeships.


  • Continue efforts to improve the labour-market relevance of education and training systems, including by further involving social partners and implementing targeted measures to address youth unemployment.


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