What Policy Innovation for Youth in Greece and Portugal?

Friday, July 10, 2015
S13 (13 rue de l'Université)
Maria Petmesidou , Social Administration & Political Science, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
This paper critically examines policy making in respect to school-to-work transitions in Greece and Portugal with the aim to locate barriers to and triggers of (effective) policy innovation for tackling youth joblessness that has reached unprecedented levels during the current crisis in both countries. The first part provides an overview of the aggravating situation of youth in the Greek and Portuguese labour markets (data are disaggregated by gender, level of qualifications, household work intensity and level of deprivation).  The second part critically examines the faltering school-to-work channels (particularly for low-qualified youth), over the last few years in both countries.  Given that youth unemployment was comparatively high is Greece even before the onset of the crisis, the analysis attempts to highlight major differences in policy profiles and reform dynamics. The third part focuses on the crisis “as a trigger of policy change” and attempts to develop an early assessment of a raft of policy measures and programmes for tackling youth unemployment among different youth cohorts. These are examined against the backdrop of diminishing protection and increasing precariousness and labour market flexibility. In the light of a wide spectrum of policy measures shaped by the bailout commitments, the EU Youth Strategy initiatives, external “expert engagement” and internal policy dynamics, our aim is twofold: (a) to disentangle barriers to and triggers of innovation in the policy machinery towards a clearer articulation of integrated, result-oriented measures and programmes; and (b) to assess opportunities for youth.