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Session Overview
RN26_RN30_10a_P_JS: JOINT SESSION: Youth Guarantee and Activation Policies
Friday, 01/Sep/2017:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Hannu Turba, University of Kassel
Location: PA.1.3
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: A, Level: 1.
Joint Session of RN26 Sociology of Social Policy and Social Welfare and RN30 Youth & Generation

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The construction of "young unemployed” and ”youth professionals” in the policy texts of ”Youth Guarantee

jaana lähteenmaa

University of Tampere, Finland

YOUTH GUARANTEE is a policy programme directed at young unemployed in Finland, since 2013. Together with the Austrian version it is nowadays the modell of ”Youth guarantee” in the whole European Union.

The ”Guarantee” hasn’t worked in Finland without problems (Since year 2015 it has worked even worse because of financial cuts ).The problems began to too tight time-schedules - but also a too simplified picutre of young clients as a presupposition of the program.

In this paper I analyze presuppositions of the program through its policy-papers, official announments and its launching campaign (an advertisiment – campaign.) I concentrate in the constructed picture of young unemployed versus ”adult professionals” in : especially, how the first and the latter ones are constructed as ”actors” (agents.)

The relevant axis in my analysis are the following: (1) the supposed passivity- activity -axis; (2) altruism- hedonism – axis ; and (3) collectivism – individualism axis and how the young and on ther other hand adult professionals working with the young are ”situated” in these axis in the policy-papers of Youth Guarantee. The analysis shows certain peculiarities and paradoxes in the aims of Youth Guarantee.


This analysis shows that there are interesting oppositions and paradoxes in the whole Finnish Yuoith Guarantee. The problems of the practicies of Youth Gurantee can be partly due to these implicit peculiaritis and contradictions of the programme itself. The European Union’s Youth Guarantee has certain same kind of implicit presuppositions. So, this analysis is highly policy relevant.

“Making Europe” with the European Youth Guarantee – a driving force for improving the school-to work-transitions of young people in the EU?

Marie-Luise Assmann

University of Bremen, Germany

EU policies are gaining importance as structural determinants of young people’s transitions into work. A recent example for the growing commitment of the EU as an agent for the young unemployed was the launch of the European Youth Guarantee (YG) in 2013. This presentation asks: How far does the new commitment of the EU make a difference for young people’s school-to-work-transitions in the different EU member states? To what kind of policy change does the implementation of the YG lead on national level?

The countries Greece, Czech Republic and Germany with distinct types of (youth) activating labour market policies (enabling/work-first) in combination with different institutionalized school-to-work transitions (systematic/guided/solitary) are compared with regard to their YG implementation strategies. The qualitative and quantitative data is collected in the context of the Horizon 2020 project “NEGOTIATE”.

I argue that the YG implementation strategies orientate path dependently on the general type of ALMP in a country and its level of institutionalization of school-to-work transitions. Pressures for convergence between national policies, as often examined in Europeanization literature, can’t be observed in the case of the YG.

On basis of these assumptions we may question whether an EU policy as the YG induces much change in the member states at all. This can be confirmed as the YG shapes the discourses in the member states towards a stronger focus on policies combatting youth unemployment and pushes forward the development of enabling measures. Eventually, EU policy supports the countries on their way to improve the institutionalization of school-to-work-transitions. Especially in countries, where young people have been mostly left alone on their transition into work, major reforms are initiated.

“Make the future… today!” – Youth Guarantee Implementation Strategy in Portugal

Lia Pappámikail, Tatiana Ferreira

Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal

The economic crisis caused high rates of youth unemployment in most European countries, leading to a social alarm climate. In this context, European Commission launched the Youth Guarantee (YG) to combat exclusion of young people under 25 who are not in employment, education or training (NEET), ensuring that they receive an employment offer, continue education, receive an apprenticeship or traineeship offer within a period of four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education.

Although around 300 000 NEET’s under 30 have benefit from measures within YG, Portugal faces challenges in promoting early intervention and outreach NEETs non-registered in public employment services. This requires a strong partnership network involving not only public institutions but also a set of local partners, whose proximity to youth population allows them to tackle the heterogeneity of their situations and trajectories, accordingly to their expectations and needs.

Drawing on data collected within the European Commission granted project “Make the future… today!” (VS/2016/0373) – which aims to increase the number of NEET registered in YG system and to increase and turn more effective the YG partner’s network – we propose to analyze the impact and challenges of the YG implementation in Portugal namely: i) unemployment’s recent trends and NEET’s rates since the YG implementation; ii) a preliminary evaluation of the project outreach activities as the improvement of the coordination and engagement of different partners involved in the process and the efficiency of the communication channels of YG to reach NEET.

Social investment in youth: the challenge of a Southern Region in Italy

Giuseppe Moro, Vittoria Jacobone, Caterina Balenzano, Lucia Ferrara

University of Bari, Italy

This paper discusses ideas concerning Youth Policies of Puglia Region (Southern Italy) that, coherently with both Union Nations’ definition of youth as well as UN policies involving them, represent the social investment measures activated in the region in favour of young people with the objective to facilitate their transition, ever less linear and ever more diversified, to adulthood facilitating autonomy (full usability of rights) and interdependence (not only dependency) processes.

Indeed, the social system into which the young people are inserted is open to a wider range of opportunities and choice possibilities which, enlarging risk margins and instability, favorite attitudes of disengagement and ever more restricted social relations than in the past.

In such a scenario, much more complex due to the conjunctural economic crisis, the Puglia Region in last years introduced several and diversified trans-sectoral interventions of both 'positive activation' and 'offensive workfare' aimed, on the one hand, at reducing unemployment, on the other hand, at contributing to the development of young people as autonomous decision-makers (empowerment).

Monitoring and periodic evaluations of the implemented actions have allowed a participatory programme design starting from "specific" needs and, in the logic of policy change, they have led the programmes with high social impact to become fully operational.

A programme that has received important recognition at both national and international level and that is still operative is ‘Bollenti Spiriti’, a powerful tool of activation of young people considered as precious resources on which to leverage for Regional social, economic and cultural change.

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