Policy Briefing


The insights that arose from youth employment numbers in Europe highlight that a further emphasis to foster effective inclusion of youngsters in the labour market is needed. Self-employment, as career choice, could trigger positive long-term economic growth and social cohesion in each of the 27 Member States, smoothing the negative impact of the economic recession that Europe is currently facing.

Three major constraints have been identified over this policy briefing that hinder European citizens to engage in self-employment as a career path: culture and education factors, economic and administrative factors and protection and information regimes. The lack of a proper training on entrepreneurial skills in the school education systems is a driving force that leads students to primarily consider the option of becoming “employees”, dismissing the enhancement of a culture of entrepreneurship. Better understanding of the self-employment status in each country, easy taxes and registration costs as smooth access to funding could help alleviate the beginning of the self-employment road. Finally, stronger and sufficient protection against unemployment (or lack of income), health- related constraints and pension coverage as well as greater information and support in the administrative and legal establishment of solo-entrepreneurs are proven to increase the rates of self-employed workers in a country.

Examples of best practices implemented in different EU Member States can serve as empirical guidelines for implementation of new approaches and practices supporting the self-employment status as a key enabler of economic activation and growth of a country.

Further comparative studies on the practical ways in which Member State are addressing education, taxation and protection of the self-employment status are key to ensure a peer learning approach across EU Member States oriented to achieve economic growth and increased rates of employability in Europe. Comparative best practices could additionally support European policy-maker in the definition of general frameworks of action that could guide Member States into the employability optimization of their national workforce.