Youths expect the EU to take their concerns seriously

Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Youths demanded substantive answers as they debated the future of the EU in Ljubljana on Thursday with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Slovenian PM Miro Cerar and European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc. They said that to survive, the bloc needed to take youths' concerns seriously.

At a discussion held as part of Juncker's two-day official visit to Slovenia, youths expressed concern in particular about jobs, precarious forms of employment, migrations and Slovenia's openness. They also quizzed the officials about Brexit, the legalisation of marijuana and LGBT rights.

Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Several youths said that the EU should create conditions in which youths can get reliable and permanent jobs, noting that Slovenia was the member state with the most prevalent use of precarious forms of employment.

Cerar said that the government had been striving to resolve this issue through various models and by improving public education, promoting start-ups and introducing apprenticeship.

Juncker said that he could not promise everyone would have a safe job.

Both also kidded that they were in a sense in precarious jobs, statements that were received coolly by youths judging by the reactions of the audience and on social media.

As for openness, Cerar said that Slovenia was one of the most open and humane countries, as is also evident from "high-quality investors coming here with new jobs".

He said that the fence on the border with Croatia was necessitated by the need to provide security.

Juncker also appeased concerns expressed by youths about a European army being set up in the face of security threats. He said all member states needed to take care of their security themselves and could no longer rely exclusively on the US.

Source: STA