Growing precariousness of young people in Europe – resistance/adaptation to change

Session #3  Panel Discussion  | Wednesday, June 26  | 12:00-13:30
Auditorium Maximum JU (Aula Mała)

Sub-theme: The shifting borders of inclusion/exclusion: Europe as a space of change

Ewa Krzaklewska

photo by Juan M Sarabia | Pink Plastic Bag

The presentation will take a closer look at the category of age and reflect how age is today an important characteristic to understand social inequalities. While age discrimination is mostly reflected on as discrimination of the elderly, this reflection will look at the situation of young people in Europe. As an effect of the global crisis, the situation on the labour market has become especially harsh and precarious for young people – the numbers of those at risk of poverty and the numbers of temporary contracts are rising, and the social security measures are being cut due to austerity. In Europe, the level of unemployment of young people is about 25%, reaching  40-50% in e.g. Southern countries. Here appears the category of  young people not in education, employment, nor training (NEETs), indicating diverse reasons for social exclusion in different European countries. The questions that arise are the following:  What are young people’s reactions to this crisis? Are young people resisting these trends or are they rather passively adapting to the new economic situation? While in media we hear about some of the actions of young people e.g. protests in Spain, what are the resistance/adaptation strategies on the individual level? How should the countries within their social policy measures react to the issue of the growing precariousness of young people today?


Ewa Krzaklewska

A sociologist and researcher, she concentrates on youth studies, academic mobility, gender studies and related policy analysis. She is a PhD candidate in the Sociology Institute at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Ewa is a very active social researcher, having collaborated with, amongst others: The Council of Europe, European Commission, the World Bank, European University Association, the Ministry of Education in Poland, Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment, Krakow Municipality. Her doctoral thesis focuses on the topic of entrance into adulthood i.e. leaving the parental home and family formation decisions in Poland, and intergenerational transfers. Since February 2011 she is a member of the Pool of the European Youth Researchers for the Council of Europe and European Commission Youth Partnership, as well as National Correspondent for Poland in European Knowledge Center for Youth Policy (EKCYP). In 2012, on behalf of the Council of Europe, she was a rapporteur of the International Review of the Youth Policy in Ukraine.