Martin Kahanec (Public Policy) speaks at a high-level policy dialogue on youth employment in Southeast Europe

Martin Kahanec

Martin Kahanec (DPP) delivered a speech on "Youth Employment in Western Balkans: Any lessons from the EU?" at a high-level Policy Dialogue, co-organised by the World Bank (WB), the Austrian Ministry of Finance (BMF), the Global Development Network (GDN) and the wiiw wiiw, that took place in Vienna on October 21, 2013.

The four organising institutions mobilised Ministers of Labour, senior officials, and youth representatives from Southeast Europe who gathered with experts from international organisations (EBRD, OECD, EC, IFC, ILO) and academic researchers to discuss policies that impact the strikingly high youth unemployment in the region.

A clear message from the workshop was that high unemployment is a long-standing problem in this region, which should be tackled in a holistic way by fiscal policies, labour market reforms, and education policies, along with a clear support for entrepreneurship.

In his contribution, Martin Kahanec claimed that accoridng to recent research about EU labro markets there is very little competition between elderly and young workers in the labor market, and that early retirement policies may in fact hurt youth's employment prospects. He further argued that mobility is a potential vehicle of progress, if right migration policies facilitating circular migration flows, rather then unidirectional exits from Southeast Europe, are adopted. He called for a more liberal mobility framework, which according to him would provide for a win-win-win situation for the sending and receiving counties as well as the migrants themselves.