The European Commission published its communication to the Spring European Council and how it suggests we should move forward - with a new and important chapter on supporting people through the crisis - in which it outlines measures Member States should consider in the following areas.
- Restoring and maintaining a stable a reliable financial system
- Supporting the real economy
- Supporting people through the crisis (a new chapter!)
- Promoting global recovery: the European contribution to the G-20 Summit
The following content is of interest for social NGOs:
- Financial inclusion: The European Commission will publish further measures to reinforce bank depositor, investor and insurance policy holder protection (autumn 2009), as well as measures on responsible lending (Autumn 2009). This is particularly relevant when considering the current consultation on financial inclusion.
- Post Lisbon 2010: The European Commission intends to launch a debate on the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs under the Lisbon Strategy. It will also work closely with Member States and stakeholders to take account of the outcomes of this debate into the design of the post 2010 Lisbon Strategy.
- The European Commission will continue renewing the European Globalization Adjustment Fund and European Social Fund.
EC recommendations to Member States
- Address short term needs but also long term challenges such as demographic changes
- Provide financial support to temporary flexible working-time arrangements
- Reinforce activation and provide adequate income support for those most affected by the economic crisis, making full use of social protection benefits in line with the flexicurity approach. Consider expansion and/or reinforcement of minimum income provisions. Support vulnerable groups in line with the active inclusion strategy
- Invest in re-training and skills upgrading and enhance employment services
Lessen the direct impact of the financial crisis on individuals through specific measures to prevent over-indebtedness and maintain access to financial services
Recover pension funds in countries with large pre-funded schemes
- Ensure the free movement of workers (EC will work with social partners and MS for a shared understanding of the Posted Workers directive)
- Consider supporting measures such as lowering non-wage costs for low-skilled workers
- Support specific measures to address youth unemployment and early schools leavers
- Revise employment protection legislation within a flexicurity approach
- The Commission affirms that social models areÂ proving their worth to protect the most vulnerable in our society
- It also considers it vital to understand and manage the long-term impact of the crisis on public finances, and on pensions and healthcare systems
- âEfforts need to be stepped up at all levels in order to tackle unemployment, modernize social assistance, healthcare and public health schemes.â
- âIncome support combined with active measures will stimulate demand, facilitate the transition back to work and avoid social exclusionâ
Preparations for the Employment Summit for Europe
The Commission outlined how it plans to approach the European Summit for Europe. The Summit will build on progress made under the Renewed Social Agenda, focus on measures to counter unemployment and should come up with concrete deliverables. It will have three objectives:
- Focus on structural reforms to create more flexible, secure and inclusive labour markets
- Agree on a concerted approach to reduce the social impact of the crisis
- Launch a new consensus with social partners and stakeholders on how to modernize social policies for the benefits of employers and employees
The Summit will also be prepared with social partners and in consultation with other stakeholders. The Commission plans to organize a series of workshops in member states with social partners, the European Parliament and NGOs.
For more information