Towards Employability of Young People in EaP

Posted: 2015-02-20
Written by: EU Network
Category: EaPYF2015
Tagged: ukraine turkey lithuania latvia georgia estonia eastern-partnership eapyf2015 belarus azerbaijan armenia


In the context of Latvia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU the 2nd Eastern Partnership Youth Forum — Innovative approaches to foster young people's employability took place in Riga on February 9–11 in participation of more than 200 young people such as youth workers, youth leaders, researchers, government and business representatives and young journalists from the EU member states and the Eastern Partnership countries — Georgia, Armenia, Belarus, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova as well as participants from Turkey.

The countries in Europe for several years now are facing several significant challenges and one of the major further challenges is fostering youth employability such as the inconsistency of skills acquired to the market demand, including problems faced in the transition from the process of education to employment, as well as the disappointment brought by the unemployment. Youth unemployment in the European Union countries apart from the economic effects also causes social consequences, and therefore the participants within the framework of the Eastern Partnership Forum were given the opportunity to pro-actively express their views, share their current experience (including that of their country) with the purpose of facilitating cross-sectoral exchange of good practice, analyse such practice and explore diverse realities, reflect on the challenges faced by these sectors, discuss ways of fostering young people's employability by means of cross-sectoral cooperation, highlight the impact and significance of young people's work in the labour market, raise awareness about the mobility programme supporting youth employment and the quality requirements as well as establish policy recommendations for improving youth employability. The general objective of the Eastern Partnership Youth Forum was the drafting of recommendations for fostering youth employability through development of cross-sectoral cooperation at the local, national and international level. The Forum results are to be presented at the Eastern Partnership Summit which is also expected to take place in Riga in May of 2015.

The 2nd Eastern Partnership Youth Forum was held in the principal location for events under the Latvia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU — known as the Castle of Light, the spacious premises of which provided an excellent locale for holding discussions and exchanging experiences and follow-up recommendation on boosting youth employability, by particularly focussing on mobility and cooperation programmes (those of the EU, Council of Europe, UN and the like), cross-sectoral cooperation, experience exchanges and especially underlining the opportunities provided by innovation and modern technologies that would be useful and applicable to the youth policy development.

During the event opening several addresses were given, including by Ms Mārīte Seile, LR Minister of Education and Science, Mr. Juris Poikāns, Ambassador-at-Large for Eastern Partnership, Mr. António Silva Mendes, Director for Erasmus+, Youth and Sport Unit, DG of Education and Science in the European Commission, Mr. Mathieu Bousquet, Acting Head of the Regional Unit for the Neighbourhood East in the European Commission, as well as Ms Daina Sproģe, Director of the Agency for International Programs.

Participants to the Eastern Partnership Youth Forum working in 8 different thematic groups shared their experiences and in the process of discussions developed a set of recommendations for the politicians on how to boost youth employability and improve the existing policy documents, develop cross-sectoral cooperation at the local, national and international level.In the opening part of the forum Ms Ināra Mūrniece, Chair of the LR Parliament, pointed out that 'in order to recover from the crisis investing in youth should not be regarded as optional, but rather as self-evident. This Forum is a platform giving an opportunity to young people to express themselves and make their voices heard'.

The Chair of the Parliament Ms I. Mūrniece highlighted the concept of solidarity which plays an increasing role in public discussion. Solidarity is the basis of such democracy where understanding is present between various institutions and the people.


Solidarity cannot be imposed, nor created, it should evolve. Europe must ascertain its support for the youth of the neighbouring countries. 


The Forum was organised by the Agency for International Youth Programmes in partnership with the LR Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission, the LR Ministry of Education and Science and other partners.Eastern Partnership has been put forward as one of the priorities of Latvia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, and the Eastern Partnership Youth Forum has demonstrated that this component of the EU Neighbourhood policy apart from being a governmental issue has also turned out to be an issue of civil society involvement in the decision-making process.

Sintija Bernava
Chairman of the Board of the Non-Governmental Organisation DONUM ANIMUSSintija Bernava is a Bachelor of Political Sciences, Master of Public Administration, and has a long-standing experience in working for the LR Parliament, State Chancellery and in the non-governmental sector.

Raksts Latviešu valoda.


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