Greece is the 20th country to have had its youth policy reviewed by an international review team appointed by the Council of Europe. The financial crisis and resulting high unemployment rate, especially among young people, was the major concern encountered by the review team. Although the crisis has compelled Greece to engage in profound fiscal reform and address many of its structural weaknesses, this has not been matched by labour market activation policies and other youth policy measures needed to reverse the mood of despondency and stem the tide of emigration of young people.
This international review focused in particular on two aspects of youth transitions: the transition from the education system to the labour market; and the related issue of military service and conscription, which is an integral part of life for young men in Greece. The review team also considered characteristics of the public administration, which dwells on bureaucratic compliance and has limited scope and licence for fostering initiative and creativity, despite incessant rhetoric about the need for “entrepreneurship”.
The review team advocates the establishment of more creative and innovative mechanisms to free the entrepreneurial and participative spirit not only of young people in Greece, but also of its regional and local administrations, youth organisations and local youth councils, in order for them to provide timely and purposeful intervention, opportunity and support according to local need and circumstances.