Tibor Navracsics said the EU faced three main crises over the past decade: an economic crisis, a social crisis and an identity crisis, all of which had significantly affected Europe’s young generation.
He said the economic crisis had left more than 4 million young people out of work, mostly in the southern member states.
Navracsics said the economic crisis is strongly linked to the bloc’s social crisis, at the heart of which he said was certain minority groups’ inability to integrate into European society. The commissioner emphasised the role of education in resolving Europe’s social crisis.
He said many of today’s problems within the EU can be traced back to an identity crisis that the bloc is still suffering from. Europe has yet to figure out what its true cultural heritage is or what kind of a union it wants. The continent will need the help of its young people to decide what kind of a future it wants, Navracsics said.
Konstantinos Kyranakis, president of the Youth of EPP (YEPP), said the organisation has worked hard over the past years to promote dialogue on issues that concern young people the most, such as labour mobility or job creation.