EU leaders completing European Council talks in Brussels have earmarked Eu6bn or £5bn to fund work training while David Cameron says a task force will monitor how EU regulation effects the UK.
Lending to small businesses will also receive an extra Eu10bn in funding via the European Investment Bank.
The measures are in reaction to woeful employment statistics in the EU, where nearly a quarter of people under 25 in the EU have no job. In Italy, unemployment for under-25s was 38.4% in April.
While critics argue that the schemes, similar to Britain’s Work Programme which was vilified by the Labour Party this week for failing to meet targets, will fail unless growth returns, EU leaders have acknowledged it is a “first step” toward higher employment.
In a summary from Brussels following the two-day summit, member states also said they wanted agreement on a means to break up and close failed banks at an EU-level rather than at national level.
The Prime Minister David Cameron said unemployment among young people in Europe was “appalling” and restricted the EU’s ability to compete globally.
Despite signs that “one-in-one-out” policy on regulation limits is working, Mr Cameron said Britain needs to move faster and further to cut excessive regulation.
He said a new business task force would be established in the UK to take a fresh look at the impact of EU regulations on British business.
EEF’s director of policy Steve Radley welcomed the task force. “The European Commission needs to get serious about regulation, committing to a target to reduce the burden and scrutinising new proposals much more seriously. As well as looking at specific regulations, it is important that this group also identifies how practices in Brussels need to improve and at building an alliance for change.”
The stimulus for much-needed bank lending to SMEs involves using an extra Eu10bn for the Brussels-based EIB. This should encourage private banks to lend by giving them EIB guarantees.
Policy director at the CBI’s Katja Hall said “Regulations shouldn’t be a burden on businesses, but too many for too long have knocked Europe’s growth ambitions so it’s refreshing to see a full impact review will be carried out.
“The Government must also seriously examine the way in which it interprets EU directives into UK law.