Since early 2012, at least twelve Member States have redirected significant resources within and among their ERDF and/or ESF operational programmes towards measures to enhance workers’ employability, combat and prevent youth unemployment and reinforce support to SMEs.
In the eight Member States targeted by the ‘Barroso Initiative’, at least 625,000 young people (October 2012) are likely to benefit from the reallocation for youth related programmes. Also in response to the Youth action teams and bilateral meetings, many Member States have now developed comprehensive initiatives for youth employment and youth jobs plans, as well as education and training programmes.
In the period 2007-2013 cohesion policy is the largest source of EU support to SMEs. More than EUR 25 billion is dedicated under the ERDF to SMEs and the major share of a further EUR 27 billion in generic business support also benefits SMEs. In relation to SMEs, the action teams have led to multiple measures to reinforce or accelerate ERDF support to SMEs with around 56,000 additional SMEs expected to benefit.
For the mountain SMEs, this could be a good opportunity to favour youth employment.