(29 April 2015) – One billion euro in EU funding to help member states get up to 650,000 young people into work will be delivered in 2015 thanks to ESF rule changes approved by Parliament today.
This EU Youth Employment Initiative funding tops up European Social Fund (ESF) money in the 20 member states with regions where youth unemployment exceeds 25%.
Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) funding for 2014-2020 is €3.2 billion, to be matched by at least €3.2 billion from member states’ ESF allocations. By February this year, the European Commission had approved 28 out of 34 YEI operational programmes, all of which could receive up to a third of their allocations as soon as amended rules enter into force.
The €1 billion in YEI funding to be made available this year will boost the EU’s contribution towards project costs from 1-1.5% to 30% in 2015. But this is not new money, as the funds had already been set aside for the YEI.
The countries benefiting from the initiative are Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.