Youth unemployment and the integration of young people into the labour market: a focus theme for public auditors across the EU


An overview of the work of public auditors across the European Union on measures to combat youth unemployment and to promote the integration of young people into the labour market has been published today by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) on behalf of the Contact Committee of EU supreme audit institutions (SAIs). The audit compendium is based on audit reports by the supreme audit institutions (SAIs) of 13 EU Member States and the ECA between 2013 and 2017.

Youth unemployment stands at the top of the agendas of most EU Member States and of the EU Institutions. In 2016, over 4 million young Europeans could not find work and the proportion facing long-term unemployment remains high. Tackling youth unemployment is mainly a task for national and regional governments. However, the EU supports and complements their efforts.

High levels of employment are a key target of the Europe 2020 Strategy and significant amounts of public funds are invested by the Member States in tackling youth unemployment and creating jobs for young people. These investments are often supported by EU funding.

The audit compendium provides some background information on recent trends in youth unemployment in Europe and the role of the EU and its Member States to address this issue. It also illustrates how public auditors across the EU helped to ensure that the EU and national funds allocated to tackling youth unemployment are being used effectively. The compendium draws on recent audit work by the SAIs of 13 EU Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, France, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and the United Kingdom) and the ECA. The SAIs addressed important performance issues, focusing on the efficiency, effectiveness and/or economy of the employment policies, programmes and projects. They examined topics such as putting employment policies into practice, adaptation of education systems, enhancement of job-search measures, monitoring systems and programmes offering direct employment, including an international analysis in some cases.

Notes to editors

In 2016, the ECA itself published a performance audit report on youth unemployment in which it assessed the Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative and examined whether EU policies made a difference.

This audit compendium is a product of the cooperation between the national SAIs and the ECA within the framework of the EU Contact Committee. It is designed as a source of information for everyone interested in this important policy field and is available in 24 EU languages on the EU Contact Committee website

The Contact Committee is an autonomous, independent and non-political assembly of the heads of SAIs of EU Member States and the ECA. It provides a forum to discuss and address matters of common interest relating to the EU.

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