The need to effectively address the problems of youth and long term unemployment must remain the main focus of the next European Parliament, according to Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP.

Mr Gallagher said today, “We need to leverage vital funding available under the EU budget to ensure that every village and town across the Midlands, North and West experiences the benefits of economic recovery.

“It is essential that we fully and effectively implement polices to deal with long term and youth unemployment, by implementing effectively the Youth Guarantee and by maximising funding for Ireland under the Youth Employment Initiative and the European Social Fund.

Mr Gallagher further stated, “Youth unemployment is a Europe wide problem. The European Parliament has responded by putting in the place the Youth Guarantee which seeks to ensure that Member States offer all young people up to 25 a quality job, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. However, it is now the responsibility of the Government to prepare an Implementation Plan, which must be rolled out across every county in the Midlands, North and West and must be supported by adequate EU and national funding.”