A Youth strategy for Europe's future – The impact of the Digital Revolution on the European youth. Case study: Romania

Research Paper by Mihai Sebe



The youth unemployment is not a new phenomenon and several EU Member States are dealing with various levels of youth unemployment. Moreover the 2008 economic crisis has accentuated this this phenomenon and made even more difficult the youth integration on the labour market. Several EU instruments have been created to deal with this: either the Youth Guarantee or the Youth Employment Initiative. Added to them the Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps represent highly efficient tools for developing personal competencies of the young generation, all while using a simplified budgeting model that may be extended toward financing other youth activities. Despite the efforts taken and the already important results the EU still has a lot to do in regards the accomplishment of the objectives it set up to do. The new social changes from migration to demographic decline up till the new labour forms, interaction and communication generated by the Digital Revolution need to be addressed in order to fully update the European Youth Strategy. Education and employment remain at the top of EU agenda, and the desire to support young people to transit successfully from the former to the latter is clearly visible in the Youth Strategies. Yet the education and training system are still ill-equipped to deal with the upcoming challenges of the Digital Age. The youth remains a highly vulnerable category. Unlike the “millennials” who benefited from all the positive results of the demographic boom, from easier employment to an adequate pension, the today youth, although ‘digital natives’ is having difficulties in finding a proper work place, has difficulties with accommodation and a state guarantee pension seems a faraway dream. At the time being the analysis of the impact of the Digital Revolution on the Youth Strategy is more than necessary as it may play a crucial part in defining the EU policies for the next period. 3 In the case of the digital economy we have on the one hand the specific competencies and qualifications it requires that change the content of employment and on the other hand the processes of “job creation” and “job destruction” that don’t always match in size and dynamics. The youth would require to learn new things such as: soft skills; data science or multidisciplinary, in an ever changing environment. As such a mismatched Youth Strategy would only increase the digital divide and create serious risks either social, economic or political ones.