The first of a series of events in our partnership with The Centre, Edelman Brussels’ forum for debate, took place on 12 May.
The event focused on ‘tackling unemployment in Europe’s cities’ and follows on from the launch of our declaration on work on 26 February.
A panel of speakers featuring Daniël Termont, mayor of Ghent and EUROCITIES vice president; Mercedes Bresso MEP; Alan Pall, secretary general of the European Youth Forum, and Sian Jones, policy coordinator for the European Anti-Poverty Network discussed how better involvement of cities could help tackle Europe’s employment crisis more effectively and with quicker results.
In particular, the panellists considered how to speed up results for the young and long term unemployed; the role of local knowledge of skills and labour markets in designing new initiatives to tackle unemployment; and the kinds of partnerships between the EU, national and city governments that could be effective in tackling the crisis.
Speaking during the debate Daniël Termont said, “The EU needs to work directly with cities and regions, because cities have the innovative and creative potential to create jobs.” He also stressed that cities are struggling to cope with the financial and social impact of unemployment in the context of reduced public budgets, and that EU support doesn’t always reach those that need it most. More effective partnership with cities could help direct support where it can make the biggest difference.
The debate was the first of a series of urban dialogues, which will explore how to better tackle some of the EU’s current challenges by joining up European and local solutions.