Union for the Mediterranean commits to fight structural unemployment
September 28, 2016
The member countries of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) reaffirmed their commitment to work together to address the challenges relating to employment, employability and decent work in the Mediterranean region, particularly for young people and women, at the third Ministerial Conference on Employment and Labour held on Tuesday 27 September in Jordan.
“Decent jobs and good opportunities in life are among the best measures to invest in our future. Therefore, it is time to give a new impetus to our UfM cooperation. We need inclusive labour markets which provide equal chances to all: women and men, the young and the old, university graduate and school dropouts,” said Marianne Thyssen, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility.
UfM Secretary General Fathallah Sijilmassi stressed: “We need to place youth employability at the core of our regional cooperation initiatives to make our young people active players of the region’s socio-economic future”
Ministers asserted the value of a common approach to address the issue of unemployment, particularly of young people and women, as a means to consolidate stability in the region. They underlined the importance of tripartite and bipartite social dialogue and welcomed the plan to organise a UfM Social Dialogue Forum in 2017/2018 and the financial support of EUR 3 million provided by the EU to the regional ‘Pilot project for the Promotion of Social Dialogue in the Southern Mediterranean Neighbourhood’.
The ministers strongly supported an integrated two-track approach, which addresses both the demand-side and the supply-side of the labour market. They also encouraged national authorities to actively support transition from informal to formal employment, in line with existing ILO efforts.
In conclusion, the UfM Secretariat emphasised that it stands ready to support the outcomes of the Conference and make sure that political decisions translate in concrete projects to benefit young people. (EU Neighbourhood Info)