by Oscar Güell, Journalist

Law students from Croatia and Hungary met on Friday afternoon in the workshop ‘We can do it – Let’s work on it!’ in order to share initiatives to combat youth unemployment. After the speeches of representatives of the Universities of Pecs (Hungary) and Osijek (Croatia) the assistants shared their points of view about the situation in their countries and offered different alternatives to solve the problem of unemployment.

Some participants questioned the negativism dominant in the workshop, but the data from these countries does not give a lot of space for optimism. Hungary has an unemployment rate of 29% for people aged between 15 and 24 years and this number is rising faster than the average of the European Union. In Croatia half of the population (49,8%) between 15 and 29 years have no job. In both countries students face a great uncertainty when they finish their Bachelor degrees because they are not able to find a job related to their field of studies. As showed in a video recorded by the Croatian students, most of people finish studies unemployed, working in temporary jobs or doing internships, which impede the development of an adult live.

“What can I do with my life earning 300 Euros per month?” asked a resigned Italian student.

The participants rapidly began a discussion about the possibilities that could offer a more developed agriculture, because it is the base of the economy in both countries. They asked for more development of the primary sector, but they consider that it is not enough to end up with the huge rates of unemployment.

“We need help from the European Union and the European countries to develop other sectors” argued the Hungarian student Mercèdesz Oszlànczi.

Daniel Rupić, a Croatian student, was more precise, and he bet on the tourism as a key sector to develop the country.

The electoral systems, the mismatch between the labour market and the content of the degrees and the capitalist system in general was criticized and tagged as responsible for the youth unemployment. The Croatian Dejan Neff also noted the paradox, when the lack of experience is the main problem to get a job, but it is impossible to get that experience without working. The high taxes in Croatia does not help to generate employment because they make the country less competitive, reminded other participant.

However, there was also room for self-criticism. Hungarian and Croatian students agree in that the young people are very passive and they give up very easily.

“In Hungary they just wait sitting for the job of their life”, explained Luca Sàrai-Szabò.

Some participants also offered advices to improve the situation. Some of the suggestions were: post graduates should take advantages of all opportunities they have, look for something extra to be recognized and work on self-improvement. Finally one of the participants remembered that each generation had some rights to fight for, like democracy or liberty. Probably, unemployment is the fight of the new generation of young people today.


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