Unemployment in Serbia and the Western Balkans – A Problem From Hell!!
Mara Nedeljkov is the former Editor-in-Chief of ‘Politikolog’ (The Political Scientist), the official student magazine of the Faculty of Political Science, University of Belgrade.
Western Balkan countries have more than two million unemployed persons waiting for jobs at employment offices, some even for up to 10 years. The average unemployment rate in Western Balkan countries is 26.8 percent.
The biggest problems in Serbia are youth unemployment, poverty and a poor educational system, according to a research done by the Center for Balanced Regional Development (Centar Za Ravnomerni regionalni razvoj - http://www.centrir.org/ ).
Further research has also found that high school students in Serbia do not recognize the importance of involvement in the work of local organizations which deal with youth issues. Given this reality, seventeen (17) percent of respondents in another research noted that they participate in at least one formal youth association, like a student parliament or a local Red Cross organization.
The study included over five hundred high school students from Serbian villages like Sremska Mitrovica, Stara Pazova, Ruma, Prijepolje, Nova Varos, Uzice and Cajetina, with the aim to examine the extent to which young people in Serbia are satisfied with the implementation of youth policies at the local level.
Half of the respondents believe that policy makers at national and local levels do not encourage young people to actively participate in social programs, while twenty-two (22) percent think that the government has encouraged youth, or that the incentives are satisfactory. Twenty-nine (29) percent of respondents are either indifferent or claim to not have an answer to the question of whether policy makers at the national and local level are doing enough to encourage young people into relevant social programs.
What's the solution?
Economic expert Duljko Hasić said to Anadolu Agency that unemployment, especially of young people, is the biggest economic problem in the region.
Hasic advised the unemployed to start their own businesses, because the startup of family and small and medium enterprises has become a trend in Europe.
Young people in Serbia are not helpless and unprotected. Many young people are committed to their ideas and fight to make their goals a reality. Young people in Serbia are as free as they are educated.
Author: Mara Nedeljkov
Note: The Western Balkans consists of Bosnia and Herzegovina, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. The EU also includes Albania into that category.
Sources for the above noted research studies were: http://www.centrir.org/