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Cyprus, and another 16 EU member submit Youth Guarantee Implementation Plans

16 January, 2014

The European Commission announced today that 17 member states, including Cyprus, have already submitted to the Commission their final plans to implement the Youth Guarantee, the EU-wide reform aiming to help all jobless people under 25 find employment, continue education, an apprenticeship or traineeship within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education.

The total amount allocated to the biennium 2014-2015 amounts to € 6 billion. The Cypriot scheme will be funded with €10.81 million and the Greek scheme with € 160.24 million.

The initiative for youth employment will be implemented in addition to other programs implemented at national level, including programs supported by the European Social Fund, to support the creation or implementation of new systems of guarantees such as the reform of the relevant bodies and services.

Regarding funding, € 3 billion will come from a special budget line entitled "Youth Employment", and this amount will be supplemented with at least 3 billion euro from the European Social Fund (ESF).

Due to the financial difficulties currently faced by member states as a result of the economic crisis, states will pay only a part of the national contribution which they would have otherwise paid under normal conditions.

According to Eurostat figures, last November the number of unemployed people under 25 reached 5,661 million in the EU as a whole, of whom 3,575 million were in the Eurozone countries. Within a year the unemployed in this category increased by 2,000 in the Eurozone. The highest rates of youth unemployment were recorded in Spain (57.7%) and Greece (54.8%). In Cyprus Eurostat figures show youth unemployment at 40%, which is the fourth highest rate in the Eurozone.