A new Strategy for Europe 2020

Given the current state of European labour markets, the Commission on Employment published a report that includes realistic changes but disturbing at the same time.

The unemployment rate in the EU-27 has been stagnant at 9.6% for almost a year, employment takes a positive dynamic for the first time in two years, however weak (+ 0.2%), long-term unemployment is increasing, the isolation of structural labour market groups (youth, low-skilled immigrants) is confirmed, the increase in labour productivity is low (2% after a negative six months).

This project focuses on two main elements: the link between training and employment on the one hand and the debate on labour productivity on the other hand. On the triptych training-employment-generation, the crisis has confirmed insufficient match between supply and demand for skills on national labour markets. Nevertheless, the Commission wants to be cautious in announcing the possible existence of a “mismatch between the skills of people looking for work and skills required for available jobs”.

The European Commission presents four measures :

  • Primarily, to make labour markets more attractive through a shift of fiscal tax , by tax allowances and investment in childcare facilities.
  • The second element is the reintegration of the unemployed in accordance with the approach of “Making Work Pay” which assumes that the functioning of social systems can exert a negative influence on the behavior of market labour . However, the Commission focuses more on reducing incomes (income replacement and unemployment benefits) than increase net incomes.
  • Thirdly to reform pension systems, a goal that is needed in an aging population and budgetary consolidation: the program predict an advanced age of retirement, reducing early retirement systems, support development of additional private savings account, a review of the directive on pension funds and introduction of new measures as part of the Green Paper on pensions.

  • Finally, it is to continue along the path of reconciliation between security and flexibility.The principle of flexicurity (which appears only once in all the texts) is approached from two angles: first, through the types of employment contract offered (Unfixed term contract should be used more) and secondly, through the simplification of systems of recognition of professional qualifications.

What do you think of the future European Union?

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