Minister welcomes agreement in principle on Memorandum of Understanding between Ireland & Germany

Print page

Minister Burton welcomes agreement in principle on Memorandum of Understanding between Ireland and Germany on youth employment

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, has today (3rd July 2013) welcomed agreement in principle on a Memorandum of Understanding between Ireland and Germany on a range of youth employment measures to benefit both countries.

Minister Burton was speaking in Berlin, where she attended, with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the Conference on Youth Employment hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Dr Ursula von der Leyen.

The Memorandum will be agreed between the Department of Social Protection and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs following a series of high-level discussions in recent months between Minister Burton and Minister von der Leyen.

Minister Burton said: "The Memorandum will facilitate the exchange of information, experience and best practice and also put in place measures to boost youth employment in both countries. This will be a very positive step, and will build on the EU-wide Youth Guarantee agreed under my chairmanship during the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU. I would like to commend Minister von der Leyen for her initiative and commitment on this issue, and I look forward to finalising the Memorandum."

The Memorandum will commit the Department of Social Protection and the Federal Ministry to intensifying their cooperation in the field of labour market policy, with the aim of strengthening labour markets in both countries and promoting youth employment.

It will also explore how best to utilise European funds as possible investment vehicles for youth employment initiatives.

In that regard, Minister Burton welcomed the decision of the European Council to utilise the financial support of the European Investment Bank to intensify the fight against youth unemployment.

This is in addition to the €6 billion that has been allocated under the EU Budget, and which will be front-loaded over the 2014/2015 period to implement the Youth Guarantee and related initiatives.

Minister Burton said: "During Ireland’s Presidency, I oversaw agreement between Member States on the Youth Guarantee, which will assure young people between 18 and 25 a good quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of becoming unemployed.

"Member States with the highest youth unemployment rates will draw up action plans by the end of this year, so that the Guarantee can be implemented from the beginning of 2014.

"My Department is now working on the development of a concrete action plan to implement the Guarantee in Ireland. The Memorandum of Understanding with Germany, and the measures it will contain, will add to and build on initiatives launched under the Guarantee.

"Throughout Ireland's Presidency, I prioritised the need to tackle the youth unemployment crisis, and it is now at the top of the EU agenda. Today's conference is further proof of that, and we must maintain that momentum and act in a sustained, determined and decisive way to ensure Europe's youth get the opportunities they deserve."


Last modified:03/07/2013