President Michael D Higgins said today that he regards unemployment as the biggest single problem facing Europe.
He was speaking in Dublin earlier at the launch of the first in a series of nationwide 'Being Young and Irish' workshops.
President Higgins addressed up to 100 young people aged between 17-26 at DIT on Bolton Street, and spoke on how they can "take charge of change".
He called on young people to submit ideas on the kind of society they want to live in, grow old in, and in the future hand on to future generations.
"No-one can defend what people are going through [with] the shocking levels of unemployment in Europe,
"I regard it as the biggest single problem in Europe.
"So we are really ahead, in a way, in trying to say: 'Well, it's one thing to be angry, it's another to actually move on and to define the alternative', and the young people are defining the alternative, that's what they're doing and I'm very confident with the way it will come out.
"From what I've seen so far, the signs are very good."