Serbia: EXIT music festival and youth employment

As International Youth Day approaches (August 12th), summer is the time for music festivals in Europe and elsewhere, but the EXIT Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia, is a festival with a social conscience that is turning its attention to the problems of unemployed young people as ILO TV reports:

Date issued: 02 October 2006 | Size/duration: 00:02:15 (3.8 MB)
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This is the sound of Summer in Serbia....the EXIT music festival started small on the banks of the Danube River as a protest by a group of young people fed up with the war in the former Yugoslavia. Today, it draws over 300,000 from all over Europe for 4 days of big name acts.

The war is over, the sounds are more sophisticated, but the festival hasn’t lost its social consciousness. When they’re not rocking to bands like Franz Ferdinand, they playing football with Olli Rehn, a Commissioner for the European Union while he tells them about the opportunities of an expanding Europe.

Olli Rehn, European Union Commissioner for Enlargement

Young people of this country, this region can travel easier abroad, can study and work abroad.

But even going abroad to find work may not lead to a job. Youth employment is a pressing issue for this region and worldwide. A new study of the International Labour Organization says that nearly half of all those unemployed in the world are young people.

Life guard

It depends on the work you do. Some of them can find a permanent job, others can’t. These days it’s hard to get a job, but we hope it’s going to get better.

Jelena, Serbian Employers Organization

Young people are seen as an asset not only to employers but to society at large and they should be nurtured and invested in.

People like Nikola can’t afford to wait. They need to make a living. Just out of university, he drives a taxi when he’s not working his hotel job in Belgrade. Sometimes he pulls 15 hour days…


It’s not so easy but if you have a real ability to work and if you have the connections, you can find a decent job.

For EXIT sponsor, MTV the question in Serbian is “Radis Nesto”? “Are you doing something”?

Simon Goff, MTV Europe Foundation

They’re not thinking about work at the moment but in the end, they’ll take away the information that they’ve been given and its about just making them aware that it is an issue, youth unemployment is an issue and it’s something you can do something about.