European Council: S&Ds welcome progress on social dimension of the EMU, increased funds for Youth Guarantee

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The European Council meeting of 27-28 June concluded with progress on the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and an agreement to increase the funds for the fight against youth unemployment. The summit also agreed on opening accession negotiations with Serbia and welcomed Latvia joining the eurozone.

Hannes Swoboda, president of the Socialists & Democrats Group in the European Parliament, commented on the summit outcome:

"Youth unemployment is the single biggest threat to a generation of educated and ambitious young Europeans. The S&D Group has repeatedly highlighted that the formerly proposed €6bn for the European Youth Guarantee, for a time period of 7 years, were not satisfactory.

"Nevertheless, it is a crucial step in the right direction that the €6bn will now be frontloaded in 2014-2015 (the first two years of the Multiannual Financial Framework), with increased flexibility allowing for the transfer of unused funds into the fight against youth unemployment, effectively increasing the resources."

On the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union, Hannes Swoboda added:

"We welcome that the Council has reiterated its commitment to pursuing the completion of the banking union as foreseen. It is a crucial signal that the Council and Commission have, following our insistence, realised that the social dimension is a key factor in completing the EMU. Taking into account all relevant social and employment indicators in the European Semester will ensure a more realistic basis for calculations and recommendations to member states.

"We expect the European Commission to deliver on its assurances and come forward with a communication on the social dimension of the EMU without delay. The social dimension is not just an add-on to the Economic and Monetary Union; it must be the glue that holds it together."