President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi speaks at Trinity

Posted on: 22 September 2017

The President of the European Central Bank, Mr Mario Draghi gave a keynote address at Trinity College Dublin today on ‘Youth unemployment in the euro area’ . Mr Draghi gave his talk on the occasion of the annual Henry Grattan Lecture* hosted by Trinity’s School of Social Sciences and Philosophy which was moderated by the School’s Head, Professor Gail McElroy. The Provost of Trinity, Dr Patrick Prendergast opened proceedings.

During his talk the ECB President highlighted the need to address structural causes of youth unemployment and the unfair burden that young people now carry in relation to the economic crisis:

ECB President giving the Henry Grattan annual lecture.

“In some countries, and Ireland is one of them, some progress in reducing youth unemployment has been achieved. More generally, the strengthening of the recovery in the euro area will continue to reduce its extent. But to address structural causes of youth unemployment, a uniform degree of protection among workers, flexible labour arrangements, effective vocational training programmes, high degree of trade openness, and support to reduce the social cost of mobility are all necessary conditions.”

“I have highlighted the economic reasons that make addressing youth unemployment an invaluable undertaking. But there is a more fundamental reason to continue addressing this challenge with determination and as a priority. We have seen how in several countries the weight of the crisis has fallen disproportionately on the young people, leaving a legacy of failed hopes, anger and ultimately mistrust in the values of our society and in the identity of our democracy.”

The ECB President concluded by saying that “young people want to work and expand their lifetime opportunities”. He called on governments to make this happen “for the future of their countries’ youth and of their democracy”:

“Some say that a more equitable distribution of income and wealth is the answer and that it would bring those who have lost out from globalisation back into our compact. But that cannot be enough for the young people who are the future of our democracies. They do not want to live on subsidies. They want to work and expand their lifetime opportunities. Today after the crisis, governments know how to respond to their quest, and how to create an environment where their hopes have a chance. They should do so: for the future of their countries’ youth and of their democracy.”

The keynote address was followed by a roundtable discussion,  the ECB Youth Dialogue with Mr Mario Draghi  who was joined by 30 Trinity Economics   students, both undergraduate and PHD candidates.

Professor of Economics, Emeritus, John O’Hagan opened proceedings and the Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, Professor Philip Lane, moderated the Q & A session with questions from undergraduate students: Aditya Garg, Annabel O'Rourke, Rory McStay,and PhD student Jonathan Rice among others.

The event concluded with  Mr Draghi being  presented with  the Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage by  Conn McCarrick President of  the University Philosophical Society (The Phil).

ECB President, Mr Draghi, Governor of the Central Bank, Prof Philip Lane & Trinity Economic Students.

About the Henry Grattan Lecture series

*The Henry Grattan Lectures invite an influential public figure to address contemporary issues. There has been, from the start, a strong focus on European issues: the inaugural lecture, in 2012, given by Joschka Fischer, had the provocative title: ‘The End of the European Project?’ – but with a question mark. In subsequent years, speakers have included such well-known Europeans as Peter Sutherland and David O’Sullivan, speaking on migration and on EU-US relations respectively. And just a few months ago, John Bruton gave a Henry Grattan lecture in the Embassy of Ireland in London on the Political Consequences of Brexit. And there has also been a strong focus on economics, with Patrick Honohan giving the 2016 lecture on the Irish economy since independence.

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