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Barroso proposes measures to accelerate the absorption of EU funds in Greece, and support growth and jobs

In a letter addressed to Greek Prime Minister Papademos Commission President Barroso proposes follow-up actions to support jobs and growth in Greece: more centralisation in the management of Structural and Cohesion Funds, technical assistance and reprogramming unallocated funds to address the souring youth unemployment.

Commission Action team leaves for Greece

The European Commission action team is travelling to Greece to refocus unallocated Structural and Cohesion funds to combat youth unemployment and support SMEs. The work of the Action Team is complementary to that of the Task force for Greece. Similar Action Teams are working in Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, Slovakia, Portugal.

Commission Action teams in Slovakia and Portugal

The European Commission's Action Teams left for Slovakia and Portugal to assist national authorities in reprioritising and reprogramming unallocated structural and cohesion funds. Their aim is to reduce the souring rate of youth unemployment and provide support to SMEs. Action teams comprised of experts from DG REGIO, DG EMPL, DG Culture and DG ECFIN are already working or will soon start their work in six other Member States: Italy, Ireland, Greece, Latvia, Spain, and Lithuania.

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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