She said the European Union (EU) intends to address the problem with new programs and additional funding.
"These people – 15-29 – we estimate 14 million of them are the most likely ones to face poverty and social exclusion," Vassiliou told journalists at the EU Youth Conference that kicked off in the Lithuanian capital on Tuesday.
In her words, the social exclusion of young people who are unemployed and not involved in schools has to be addressed, and new programs – Erasmus+ and Youth In Action – should be helpful here.
"Youth unemployment is the priority for the EU," the commissioner said.
Lithuanian Social Security and Labor Minister Algimanta Pabedinskienė told the same news conference that youth unemployment contributes to social exclusion, reduces EU competition and economic development.
"Although data from the Lithuanian Labor Exchange shows a consistent decrease in unemployment in Lithuania, the youth unemployment problem is escalating on the European level," said the Lithuanian minister, adding that youth employment initiatives should help prevent long-term unemployment.
"It is crucial to ensure early employment of young people with the help of integration employment instruments," Pabedinskienė said.