Understanding the problem
Many of the Mediterranean regions of the European Economic Area face significantly high unemployment rates. The statistics, however, cover particular qualitative characteristics.
Among the general unemployed population, the economically inactive (NEETs – Not in Employment, Education or Training) and especially young persons between 25- 29 years old face pressing economic, and social problems. Up to date lack of coordination between actors and interventions as well as absence of personalized support having been hindering any prospect of solution.
Unemployment of the young people is only a part of the wider image.
Southern European countries belong to the cluster of the ‘very-hard-hit’ economies from the current economic crisis. Specifically Greece, Italy, Spain and Cyprus, face a ‘toxic mix’ of high unemployment, with significant representation of the younger gerenarations, and anemic growth in the aftermath of the recession.
In addition to that, the political geography of the Mediterranean regions of the European Economic Area has also been unfavourable the last years. Greece, Italy, Spain and Cyprus have become the entry points of mixed migration flows. The economic pressure of managing the humanitarian aspect of the flows and of contibuting in their integration later on adds to the socio-economic pressure of tackling unemployment.
Neither the territorial geography has been supporting. Insularity, mountainous environment and generally the fractured landscape hinder mobility, communication and resource management.
The Mediterranean societies, however, have been enduring extremities for thousand years presenting not only a remarkable resilience but indeed the development of several civilisations. Trans-local communication and transfer of know how has been the cornerstone of that resilience.
The same principles need to be employed to tackle such a poly-parametric problem. Transnational cooperation, coordinated research and new empirically-grounded solutions based on transfer of know-how will be applied to cover three needs:
i) Train specific target groups (economically inactive women and migrants) in locally resilient sectors
ii) Enhance employability by advancing knowledge and skills in social entrepreneurship and platform economy
iii) Establish long-lasting labour market engagement by involving stakeholders, research and Employment Centres.
YOUTHShare project aims at reducing youth unemployment in coastal and island regions of Mediterranean EEA by advancing young NEETs skills in trans-locally resilient economic sectors such as the agri-food production and related circular economies. By means of an integrated multi-scalar methodology and practice it will boost the potential of social entrepreneurship and sharing economy in order to reduce economic disparities and increase social integration.
YOUTHShare identifies three scales of intervention in a holistic methodology that unravels from local to global and back in a tightly interwoven multi-level intervention:
Stimulate Trans-Locally. By mobilizing resilient niches with particular focus on trans-local culture, tourism value chains, insularity, path-dependent practices and human capital.
Build European. By coupling local strengths with properly adapted good practices or EU-scale best practices (e.g. social economy practices).
Spread Globally. By boosting NEETs potential in Mediterranean EEA through sharing economy, expansion of social entrepreneurship and development of locally embedded yet transnationally-linked clusters of agri-food production and pertinent circular economies.