Minister Liška and Commissioner Figel during the press conference after the Council of Education Ministers in Brussels.
“The subject of young people should become a horizontal component of all European policies, since it seems not only right but also efficient to invest in young people before they are excluded from society, before they lose the chance to assert themselves or before they sink into poverty. Today we are going to discuss ways of strengthening this policy,” stated minister Liška ahead of the meeting.
In the field of youth, the Czech Presidency follows the path traced by the previously presented priorities. Its work stems from the conviction that young people can be very helpful in tackling the economic crisis by contributing to meeting the goals of growth and employment, social cohesion and competitiveness in Europe, and should therefore be given an even stronger position among the priorities in the revised Lisbon Strategy after 2010. This Strategy should promote financial, but also other investments in young people.
Today, the ministers are looking for ways to improve the implementation of the European Youth Pact at Member State level and promote a smooth transition for young people from school to work under this Pact. Special attention is paid to the situation of young people with limited opportunities and those who live in poverty as these people are suffering and will suffer the first and heaviest blow of the crisis.
“We are now discussing ways of opening up formal as well as non-formal learning to young people and of removing obstacles to their employability during the economic crisis. There are many situations in which young people find themselves marginalised, in which both society and the state fail and we are unable to give these people any help. Sharing experience in this area and choosing a common approach will be the main topic of this morning”, said Ondřej Liška.
The meeting was preceded by an informal breakfast at which the Minister met young people. The breakfast was attended by European Commissioner Ján Figeľ, representatives of the European Youth Forum and National Youth Councils.
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