Rebecca Taylor, Lib Dem MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, yesterday hosted a roundtable event in the European Parliament in conjunction with the European Youth Forum calling for an end to the exploitation and unfair working conditions of European interns.
Rebecca is Vice President of the Parliament’s Youth Intergroup, a cross-party network of MEPs who come together to look at how best to tackle the big issues facing young people in Europe today.
The well attended event saw employers, policy makers and many young interns themselves come together to discuss ideas on how to guarantee good quality internships for young people across Europe.
During one of the panel discussions, Rebecca Taylor commented:
“The priority should be putting an end to unpaid traineeships. I regard them as a form of social discrimination as those who cannot afford to support themselves either lose out or end up living precariously and running up debts”
The event was also a chance for the Youth Intergroup to showcase the results of a recent survey of interns working within the European Parliament. The survey forms the keystone of the Intergroup’s Parliamentary campaign ‘I pay my interns, what about you?’, which aims to push the Parliament as whole to adopt the European Charter for Quality internships.
“It is important to get our own house in order before castigating other organisations, businesses and NGOs about how they treat their interns” Rebecca insisted during the event.