On 27 and 28 June 2013, the European Council met on its regular June meeting to discuss crucial topics of youth unemployment, financial stability of the EMU and macroeconomic situation of Member States. It was the last meeting of the European Council of 27 heads of states, as Croatia enters the European Union on 1 July 2013.
The most discussed topic was the one of youth unemployment. Youth unemployment amounts to 25% in average and brings about huge human and social costs. The European Council therefore agreed on a comprehensive set of measures aimed at speeding up the implementation of the Youth Employment Initiative and Youth Guarantee. A special focus will be given to the regions where youth unemployment rates amount to 25% and more. All the adopted measures include national and European programmes for youth employment and mobility as well as financial incentives for companies to employ young labour force. High quality apprenticeships, traineeships and work-based learning will also be promoted so as to involve as many partners as possible.
The European Council concluded the European Semester by adopting the country-specific recommendations. Member States are now obliged to apply the recommendations on their budgets, structural reforms and social policies. A new Investment Plan and a Compact for Growth and Jobs were also adopted to boost the economy and promote growth and jobs. The former brings a new strategy in investment allocation, whilst the latter is a €120 billion package of fast-acting growth measures.
The Council also welcomed Latvia's strong determination to adopt the common currency in January 2013 amid fears for the Euro's blurry future.
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