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PQ reply shows that conditions will be applied to future funding for youth guarantee – Reilly

21 November, 2013 - by Kathryn Reilly


Sinn Féin Youth Affairs spokesperson Kathryn Reilly has received a response to a parliamentary question which indicates that future funding from the EU for the Youth Guarantee will be subject to economic conditions here in Ireland.

Speaking in response Senator Kathryn Reilly said this further highlights the precariousness of the Youth Guarantee scheme.

Senator Reilly said;

“Ireland is in, and will continue to be in receipt of EU funding which delivers much needed investment. In response to a PQ we submitted asking whether or not the Youth Guarantee funding from the EU will be subject to macro-economic conditionality, the minister’s response was an indication of what’s coming down the road.

“Sinn Féin strongly disagrees with conditionality being applied to cohesion and structural funding with a threat of suspension of funds if ‘budgetary discipline’ is not implemented.

“We now know that Macro-economic conditionality will be a feature of the next round of Structural Funds, including the European Social Fund on which the Youth Employment Initiative is based.

“In other words, conditions, the details of which have not been disclosed, will be attached to the application and receipt of funds meaning more hoops and more predictable red tape.

“The message is clear; the rolling out of the Youth Guarantee will not be a clear-cut process. The Commission may request a member state to review and propose amendments to its Partnership Agreement and relevant programmes as a condition to the advancement of funds.

“In the context of this nation’s crisis level of unemployment, coupled with its poor economic growth, how exactly does this government propose to overcome the potential bottle necking of progress considering the inevitable conditions that will be attached? 


“The implementation of the Youth Guarantee in Ireland should not have a threat hanging over it. This information is another blow to the credibility of the Youth Guarantee scheme.”

ENDS

PQ response attached below

Question No: 124 Ref No: 49778-13
To the Minister for Social Protection
To ask the Minister for Social Protection if the youth guarantee funding from the EU will be subject to macro-economic conditionality; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

- Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.

* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 20th November, 2013.
R E P L Y
Minister for Social Protection (Joan Burton T.D):
The Deputy appears to be referring to the €6 billion Youth Employment Initiative. The detailed regulations for this Initiative are still under negotiation as part of the overall negotiations on the EU Structural Funds for 2014-2020. These negotiations are being led overall for Ireland by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, with the Department of Education and Skills taking the lead in relation to the Youth Employment Initiative because of its links to the European Social Fund.
I am advised that Macro-economic conditionality will be a feature of the next round of Structural Funds, including the European Social Fund on which the Youth Employment Initiative is based. The relevant provisions of the Common Provisions Regulation governing the Structural Funds will provide that the Commission may request a Member State to review and propose amendments to its Partnership Agreement and relevant programmes, where this is necessary to support the implementation of relevant Council recommendations or to maximise the growth impact of European Structural and Investment Funds in Member States receiving financial assistance from the EU.

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