Union for the Mediterranean commits to fight structural unemployment

At the third Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Ministerial Conference on Employment and Labour today in Jordan, Ministers of UfM member countries reaffirmed their commitment to work together to address the challenges relating to employment, employability and decent work in the Mediterranean region, in particular for young people and women. The European Commission – represented by Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility – and Jordan’s Labour Minister Ali AL-Ghezawi were the co-Presidents of the two-day UfM-meeting. Commissioner Thyssen stated: “In some countries on the Mediterranean shore, as much as half of the young people are out of a job. We cannot allow this. Decent jobs and good opportunities in life are among the best measures to invest in our future. Therefore, it is time to give a new impetus to our UfM cooperation. We need inclusive labour markets which provide equal chances to all: women and men, the young and the old, university graduate and school dropouts.” The participating ministers consulted with representatives of social partners from both shores of the Mediterranean and underlined the importance of tripartite and bipartite social dialogue. They welcomed the plan to organise a UfM Social Dialogue Forum in 2017/2018 and a €3 million financial support provided by the EU to the regional ‘Pilot project for the Promotion of Social Dialogue in the Southern Mediterranean Neighbourhood’. This project will be first implemented in Tunisia, Morocco and Jordan as priority countries and may possibly be expanded to other UfM partner countries. It is the first time that social partners from both northern and southern countries of the Mediterranean adopted a common declaration.