Bringing the initiative on Zero Unemployment in the EU forward

With unemployment rates below 7%, creating jobs risks becoming a less relevant priority for the […]

14:00 - 16:00
Online (Closed-door)
Bringing the initiative on Zero Unemployment in the EU forward

In order to give you access to our events, FEPS processes your personal data together with any other organiser of this event mentioned in the description of the event and in accordance with 'FEPS’ data protection policy. Once registered to one of our events, it is FEPS’ legitimate interest to send you our Newsletter to which you can oppose at any time.

With unemployment rates below 7%, creating jobs risks becoming a less relevant priority for the EU, but such statistics do not capture the disconcerting picture of employment around the continent. Eurostat reports that in 2021, 31.2 million people in the EU faced an unmet demand for employment, corresponding to 14% of the extended labour force. On average at the EU level, one out of five unemployed is out of the labour market for more than 2 years; more than one out of ten of those having a job is still ‘in poverty’ and over 5 million young people below 30 are out of a job.

This situation is likely to be exacerbated as economic uncertainty intensifies and megatrends such as demographic changes, the climate crisis, and technological developments endure. We consider it a responsibility of the public sector to offer solutions that not only activate people facing social exclusion but also steer the economy in the desired direction: creating jobs for the green transition, the care sector and youth.

Job guarantee-like initiatives already exist in Europe: in France, Austria and Belgium. In the context of giving real bite to the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, particularly in view of supporting the headline target of 78% of the active population employed by 2030, the EU could launch an initiative to scale up and multiply the success of local and national experiences. An EU initiative to support job guarantee programmes in the member states could help create sustainable, quality jobs, with meaningful benefits to the economy and communities and foster democracy in the workplace.

This event was dedicated to bringing together people and organisations interested in the concept of an EU-level initiative for Zero Unemployment Areas – borrowing from the French example of the “Territoires Zero Chômeurs de Longue Durée”. Based on a set of 10 principles for an EU Job guarantee brought forward by economist Pavlina Tcherneva, the meeting aimed to gather a coalition interested in working together on refining what such an EU initiative could look like and on advocating for it collectively.

The meeting was meant to help structure a coalition of organisations interested in the public sector-led job creation to address the green transition, the shortages in the care industries, and opportunities for the youth.


  • David Rinaldi, Director of Studies and Policy, FEPS
  • Janina Urban, Our Global Moment & Witten/Herdecke University
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES and Member of the European Committee of the Regions, rapporteur of the Own Initiative Report on the EU Initiative for Zero Unemployment Zones
  • Claes-Mikael Ståhl, Deputy General Secretary, ETUC
  • Aurore Lalucq, Member of the European Parliament, S&D Group
  • Pavlina Tcherneva, Associate Professor of Economics, Bard College & Research Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute, Director of the Economic Democracy Initiative
  • Rania Antonopoulos, Senior Scholar and Director of the Gender Equality Program at the Levy Economics Institute, Professor at the New York University
Economic Democracy Initiative
Fondazione Pietro Nenni
Institut Emile Vandervelde
Our Global Moment
Find all related publications

A European Health Union

A blueprint for generations

European perceptions of public programmes for zero unemployment

Online survey and qualitative interviews: The results

Bidding farewell to workfare?

Recovery Watch series

Is the digital transition a lever for structural reforms or does it reinforce the divide?

Recovery Watch series
Find all related events

Enhancing sustainable long-term care

Care4Care Policy Series
Online (Expert meeting)

An EU-wide programme for local jobs initiatives

Online coalition meeting
Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland

Intergenerational solidarity

Challenges for Social Democracy series
Find all related news

Feminist Leadership for Women in CSOs

Survey for women in leadership

Let’s end involuntary unemployment!

European survey on the perception of unemployment and publicly funded jobs

Call to participants: Training Days for Social Business

Switzerland, September 3rd 2022

Joint Progressive Call for the right to housing

Our housing system is broken. Over 85 million people in the European Union are overburdened […]
Find all related in the media
In the media

O László Andor στο Φόρουμ των Δελφών

by News 24 7 28/04/2023
“László Andor discussing at the Delphi Economic Forum about the importance of social inclusion and ways to strengthen it”

Research shows Ireland is too reliant on voluntary sector for mental health services

by RTÉ Radio 1 27/03/2023
RTÉ Radio 1 talks about our case studies 'Is an EU-wide approach to the mental health crisis necessary?', published in collaboration with Think-tank for Action on Social Change (TASC)

Irish mental health services ‘too hospital-centric’

by Irish Examiner 23/03/2023
Irish Examiner article on FEPS and TASC policy study "Is an EU-wide approach to the Mental Health Crisis necessary?"

Ireland lacks key mental health services, report finds

by RTÉ 23/03/2023
RTÉ article on FEPS and TASC policy study "Is an EU-wide approach to the Mental Health Crisis necessary?"