Youth unemployment is a key major challenge for both European and Southern Mediterranean countries. It is a major issue to be addressed within the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean as it holds a very significant connection with the overall objective of regional integration in the Euro-Med region.

Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries are experiencing rapid growth in their working age populations. Almost 60% of the regional population is today under the age of 30 and the number of young people under the age of 15 is forecasted to increase over 18% by 2020. This represents an asset for the region, and therefore, a positive and action-oriented regional agenda on youth employability is indispensable to unleash the region’s human and economic potential capital. As requisite for peace and stability in the region, priority actions must be built on promoting competitiveness and enhancing job opportunities, in particular for youth, through education and employment, vocational training initiatives and improved connectivity.

The UfM is promoting 15 projects directly addressing the challenges of youth employability and inclusive growth. Framed by the political mandate (in particular the Ministerial conferences on industrial cooperation and digital economy) and nourished by the priorities expressed in the regional dialogues, these projects target approximately 200.000 beneficiaries, mostly young people, and involve more than 1.000 small and medium private enterprises.

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