A report on social exclusion of young people in Europe, published on September 2015 by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND)[1], presents a first assessment of the implementation of the Youth Guarantee. Based on a research conducted in 2014, the authors[2]seek to evaluate efforts by 10 European countries in establishing their Youth Guarantee systems. As a first step, the document gives an overview of goods practices in this regard based on the experiences of Austria, Finland and Sweden, considering that those countries implemented such mechanism many years ago and are the main source of inspiration of the European initiative. On the basis of these experiences, the report evaluates in the 10 countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK) the preconditions of implementation of the Youth Guarantee schemes, stressing the strong heterogeneity between them (quantities and characteristics of young people not in education, employment or training – NEETs; legal-political-financial frameworks of the public policies for youth employment; etc.). Then, the report analyses some of the 18 pilot-projects put in place across the EU, following a request from the European Parliament, in seven countries (Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Spain and the UK). After reviewing the reforms needed to ensure effective implementation of the Youth Guarantee, the measures already taken by the countries, the potential cost of extending interventions to all the NEETs and the obstacles and challenges for successful implementation, the research concludes that such schemes may be faced with 3 possible limitations: 1. the funding of the Youth Guarantee, considering that the 6,000 million euros earmarked for this is not enough to cope with the magnitude of the problem and the urgent need to resolve it; 2. the Youth Guarantee commitment is very generalist and not quantified while in a number of Member States, those who should be reached by the Youth Guarantee offer are not often identified or in other cases (such as in Italy, France and Spain) the number of potential recipients is very high. This raises the question of the quality of the offer and sustainability of opportunities created under such mechanism; 3.the transferability of the Youth Guarantee framework to other European countries. While this policy intervention has worked well and produced positive results in countries such as Austria, Finland and Sweden, there might be underlying factors in these countries that play an important role in the effectiveness of these measures but cannot be easily replicated in other settings.However, the analysis insists on the fact that the implementation of the Youth Guarantee started very fast, considering that all Member States have put in place their implementation plan.

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[1]Eurofound (2015), Social inclusion of young people, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

[2]Massimiliano Mascherini, Anna Ludwinek and Stefanie Ledermaier in cooperation with: Michaela Gstrein and Petra Rodiga-Laßnig, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna; Isabel Naylon and Simon Broek, from the consortium METIS, Vienna/Ockham IPS, Utrecht/LSEE, London); Nicole Fondeville and Terry Ward, APPLICA, Brussels; Alessandra Cancedda, Laurie Day, AnjaMeierkord and Lisa Van Beek, ECORYS, London.