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European Employment Strategy

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EMPLOYMENT IN EUROPE

(Welcomeurope ã Special File – November 2001)

 

 

I – PRESENT SITUATION

1 - EUROPEAN EMPLOYMENT STRATEGY

2 - BALANCE OF YEAR 2000

3 - PEER REVIEW PROGRAMME: EXCHANGE OF PRACTICES BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE MEMBER STATES

4 - EUROPEAN SOCIAL FUND (ESF): INVESTING TO DEVELOP EUROPEANS’ COMPETENCES.

5 - EQUAL PROGRAMME: FUNDS TO FAVOUR GENDER BALANCE

6 - JOBSEARCH:  EURES (EURopean Employment Services)

7 - FIND ALL FINANCING OPPORTUNITIES IN OUR EUROFUNDING DATABASE

II - EMPLOYMENT IN THE EUROPEAN POLICY

 

 

 

The current assessment concerning the European policy of employment is overall positive since jobs were created on all the labor markets in Europe, supporting a better social and regional cohesion of the European Union.

The factors of this improvement are: the installation of the single currency, the application of healthy macroeconomic policies, the reform of the structural economic policies and reorganizing of the labor market policies.

 

Year 2000 has been particularly positive. However the recession touches now the European Community. Some problems have not been solved yet: there is still a notable difference between the qualification and the remuneration of men and those of women, and imbalances between the different European areas remain.

 

A true strategy for employment was consequently installed by the European Union to better fight those problems.

 

 

I – THE PRESENT SITUATION

 

1 - EUROPEAN EMPLOYMENT STRATEGY

 

The Amsterdam Treaty and then the Luxembourg Jobs summit (1997) reinforced the European employment policy by structuring it. Priorities were stated and gathered in four pillars:

Ø      Improving Employability;

Ø      Developing Entrepreneurship;

Ø      Encouraging Adaptability of Businesses and their Employees;

Ø      Strengthening the Policies for Equal Opportunities.

 

The National Action Plans on Employment (NAP), established by the Member States, orientate each year these various orientations. They are subjected to the Commission and the Council. A common employment report presents their results, thus making it possible to understand the consequences of the carried out actions, and to reorganize new policies.

 

The European Commission adopted an “employment package” on 12 September 2001  in order to advance the European reform of the labor markets of the EU. It must be submitted to the EU’s Council of Ministers, which decision should be taken  before the end of 2001. The goal is to reach the objectives of Lisbon and Stockholm.

This package is annual. It consists of three parts: a report explains the results of the various Member States; these States receive specific recommendations that are established according to the problems they face; finally, general guidelines are outlined.

The progresses obtained by the Member States were acknowledged: year 2000 was particularly profitable from the point of view of job creation and the development of policies supporting it.

However, the Commission encourages governments, companies and trade unions to multiply their efforts so that the European employment strategy goes on. It is indeed a long-term strategy.

 

 

2 - BALANCE OF YEAR 2000

 

3 million jobs have been created in 2000 in the European Union, that is to say 1% of the working population. It is the most significant rise recorded for the last ten years. It is particularly encouraging since the Summit of Lisbon had given the objective of 70% of working population for 2010. The objective of Stockholm aims at an activity rate of 67% in 2005.

High technology and activities with strong cognitive intensity are the sectors that have created the most jobs between 1995 and 2000.

 

In spite of these encouraging figures, the Commission specifies that the number of unemployed people is still very high: there were 14,5 million of unemployed people in 2000.

The young people represent the main victims with an inactivity rate of 16,3% in 2000. The 55-64 years old are also particularly targeted. Only 37,7% of this category are active, whereas the Summit of Lisbon aimed at a 50% rate for 2010. This age category undergoes the unemployment of long duration.

 

The Commission particularly wishes that Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Spain, France and Italy devoted themselves to these two problems.

Labor force and activity should be increased to this end.

 

Guidelines: to guarantee employment of better quality in Europe; to encourage the mobility of labor force within the new open markets; to reduce the variation of remunerations between men and women.

Other recommendations: to level regional imbalance and to reinforce partnership.

 

The Council must yearly adopt guidelines regarding the employment policies of the Member States, within the framework of a coordinated strategy. The Member States will establish national action plans to present measurements undertaken in order to fight against the problems denounced by the Commission, as well as the positive results observed.

 

 

3 - PEER REVIEW PROGRAMME: EXCHANGE OF PRACTICES BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE MEMBER STATES

 

A peer review programme was set up in 1999 by the Commission in order to support the exchange of good practice between the various Member States: a country hosts the government representatives from the Member States and experts to present its employment policy. The participants analyze and evaluate the good practice used.

 

The evaluation programme includes four distinct objectives:

Ø      To identify, evaluate and disseminate good practices regarding employment.

Ø      To assess the transfer of good practices to other member states.

Ø      To follow-up and implement the ideas and objectives of the European employment strategy.

Ø      To develop and propose a list of methodology criteria for the selection and review of good practices.

 

 

4 - EUROPEAN SOCIAL FUND (ESF): INVESTING TO DEVELOP EUROPEANS’ COMPETENCES.

 

The ESF is the main financial tool of the EU regarding employment. It is essential to the European strategy. For more than 40 years it has invested in human resources in order to develop competences and to improve the professional prospects for the European citizens.

The ESF favors a policy that gives responsibility to the Member States. It also supports partnerships, local actions and the evaluation of the efficiency, on the one hand, and the search for local solutions to local problems on the other hand.

 

A new seven years period began in 2000 for the ESF.

The fifteen Member States must collaborate in order to pursue the goals jointly decided in order to prepare the citizens to the active world and to create a climate more favorable to employment.

 

The common employment report will be examined at the time of the Laeken summit in December 2001.

The European Employment Strategy benefits from a financial assistance of the ESF reaching 10 billion euros for the 2000-2006 period.

 

 

Find all financing opportunities in our EUROFUNDING database:

STRUCTURAL FUND - ESF

http://www.welcomeurope.com/prog.asp?search=yes&Pgm=11244

 STRUCTURAL FUND - INNOVATING MEASURES ESF

http://www.welcomeurope.com/prog.asp?search=yes&Pgm=11363

 

 

5 - EQUAL PROGRAMME: FUNDS TO FAVOUR GENDER BALANCE

 

One of the main guidelines tackles equal opportunity. Even if women account for 1,6 million of the created jobs, their situation is alarming: they still undergo the discrimination of gender and wages.

However other measures are necessary to supplement the actions undertaken by the Commission to reinforce gender balance. Childcare structures must be created to support the activity of women.

 

 

Find all financing opportunities in our EUROFUNDING database:

EQUAL

http://www.welcomeurope.com/prog.asp?Pgm=11147

EQUAL - ACTION 1 - DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIPS AND TRANSNATIONAL COOPERATION

http://www.welcomeurope.com/prog.asp?Pgm=11146

EQUAL - ACTION 2 - PROGRAMMES OF DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIPS (DPs)

http://www.welcomeurope.com/prog.asp?Pgm=11154

EQUAL - ACTION 3 - THEMATIC NETWORKING, DISSEMINATION OF GOOD PRACTICE

http://www.welcomeurope.com/prog.asp?Pgm=11155

EQUAL - ACTION 4 - TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

http://www.welcomeurope.com/prog.asp?Pgm=11156

 

 

6 - JOBSEARCH:  EURES (EURopean Employment Services)

 

The European employment services aim at facilitating the free movement of workers  in the 17 countries of the European Economic Area (EEA). The network gathers partners such as public services of employment, trade unions and employers' organizations. The European Commission coordinates the partnership.

The objectives of EURES are to inform, counsel and advise potentially mobile workers on job opportunities, as well as on living and working conditions in the EEA. It assists employers in recruiting workers from other countries. It also provides particular advice and guidance to workers and employers across Europe.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The European employment policy now aims at full employment.

It will enable the establishment of a knowledge-based economy and society.

The European economy will be consequently more competitive by 2010, as the Council of Lisbon recommends it.

It is necessary to adapt to new technologies and knowledge to create new jobs.

A sustainable growth should allow offering more and better-quality jobs, which will guarantee a better social cohesion.

 

 

7 - Find all financing opportunities in our EUROFUNDING database:

 

SEMINARS AND PROJECTS SUPPORTING THE EUROPEAN EMPLOYMENT STRATEGY

http://www.welcomeurope.com/prog.asp?search=yes&Pgm=11364

EQUAL - ACTION 1 - DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIPS AND TRANSNATIONAL COOPERATION

http://www.welcomeurope.com/prog.asp?Pgm=11146

EQUAL - ACTION 2 - PROGRAMMES OF DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIPS (DPs)

http://www.welcomeurope.com/prog.asp?Pgm=11154

EQUAL - ACTION 3 - THEMATIC NETWORKING, DISSEMINATION OF GOOD PRACTICE

http://www.welcomeurope.com/prog.asp?Pgm=11155

EQUAL - ACTION 4 - TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

http://www.welcomeurope.com/prog.asp?Pgm=11156

STRUCTURAL FUND - ESF

http://www.welcomeurope.com/prog.asp?search=yes&Pgm=11244

STRUCTURAL FUND - INNOVATING MEASURES ESF

http://www.welcomeurope.com/prog.asp?search=yes&Pgm=11363

E-EUROPE

http://www.welcomeurope.com/prog.asp?Pgm=11306

LEONARDO DA VINCI

http://www.welcomeurope.com/prog.asp?Pgm=11082

 

 

EUROPEAN AGENDA

 

Employment Week: http://employmentweek.com/francais/accueil.htm

 

 

II - EMPLOYMENT IN THE EUROPEAN POLICY

 

The mobility of workers began possible in 1957 with the Treaty of Rome (articles 39 to 42 of EC Treaty, former articles 48 to 51). It also permitted free establishment in the perspective of the Single Trade (articles 43 to 48). 

 

The Single European Act (1986) aimed to the constitution of the domestic market, designed as a border-free space, into which the free movement of goods, people, services and capital is assured.

 

The social aspect of the European Union became a priority with the adoption of the Treaty of Maastricht (1992). The Member States agreed on common measures  relating to employment: the fight against exclusion at work, equal opportunity between men and women, social security and working conditions.

 

The Treaty of Amsterdam (1999) constitutes a significant stage since some specific  orientations were indicated as a priority. The various social measurements already stated by the Treaty of Maastricht were reaffirmed and supplemented. One of the first goals of the Treaty is to offer the European Union "a high level of employment". A better co-operation between the Member States is thus recommended to allow it. It proposes in particular the creation of comparison and evaluation mechanisms in order to fight unemployment. Important guidelines were jointly adopted. European funds supported projects regarding the development of employment, and a Committee of employment was suggested.

The social policy took a Community dimension at that time. The fight against discrimination at work was particularly enforced.

 

Realized by Amélie Despérier Welcomeurope ã 2001 – European Employment Strategy

 

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