The President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, said that completing the European single market would help to reduce the rate of youth unemployment in the EU.

During a speech at Trinity College Dublin today, Dr Draghi said "the single market requires firms to be more productive, so they activate the 'virtuous circle' between productivity growth and youth employment".  

Mr Draghi said countries that have a high degree of economic openness have benefited most from the single market and are also those with lower than average youth unemployment. 

According to the ECB chief, Ireland is one of the countries that has made progress in reducing youth unemployment.

The cyclical improvement of the Euro Area economy will continue to reduce it further.

However, there were structural reasons for youth unemployment as well, and these had to be tackled primarily in individual countries.

He said a uniform degree of protection among workers, flexible labour arrangements, effective vocational training programmes, a higher degree of trade openness and support to reduce the cost of social mobility are all necessary conditions.

Urging governments to make the reforms he identified , he said "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 the identity of our democracy".

Mr Draghi said countries know how to respond to the needs of unemployed youth and he urged them to do so "for the future of their countries youth and of their democracy". 

Youth unemployment in the Euro are is now at 19%, having peaked at 24% in 2013, but it is still about 4 percentage points higher than it was at the start of the crisis.

Greece and Spain entered the crisis with youth unemployment rates of 23 and 18% respectively - in both countries the rate peaked at 50%.

In Ireland, the rate of youth unemployment tripled to 30%, but has now fallen back to the Euro Area average.  

However, the latest Irish jobless figures from the CSO showed that while the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August fell to 6.3% from 6.4% in July, the level of youth unemployment moved up to 12.7% from 12.3%.

In Germany - the country least affected by the cyclical downturn of recent times - the youth unemployment rate actually fell, from 12% in 2007 to 8% in 2013. 

Germany is also noted for its extensive youth training and apprenticeship system.

Mr Draghi also warned today that rising house prices are not a widespread phenomenon and are only seen in some European countries.