European Commission presents the "Employment Package"
Wednesday 18 April 2012
On 18 April, the European Commission presented its new "Employment Package", a set of concrete measures to tackle unemployment, boost jobs and beat the grim economic outlook for the months ahead in Europe. The package was presented as a Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, "Towards a job-rich recovery".
The package focuses on job creation and underlines the need for a stronger employment and social dimension to EU governance. Health services, the green economy and ICT are identified as areas with the biggest job potential for the future. The package sets out the following steps to strengthen the national employment policies of Member States:
- create the right conditions for job creation and labour demand
- exploit the big job potential areas for the future, including health services
- improve planning and forecasting of the health workforce to match the demand and supply of health professionals
- support an increase in highly qualified ICT labour and the promotion of digital skills across the workforce.
The Communication also presents key areas for reform so that labour markets become more dynamic and inclusive and more resilient to economic change:
- draw on the lessons learned from the crisis, such as stimulating internal flexibility to reduce job insecurity and fiscal costs
- establish decent and sustainable wages and avoid low-wage traps
- ensure appropriate contractual arrangements to prevent the excessive use of non-standard arrangements. This includes the need to deliver on opportunities for young people and developing lifelong learning.
- provide more investment in skills to address the mismatches in Europe’s labour markets, as well as better anticipation of skills needs.
The ultimate aim of the "Employment Package" is to create a genuine EU labour market by
- improving labour mobility: removal of legal and practical obstacles to the free movement of workers; inviting governments to lift restrictions on labour market access to some workers; allowing nationals from other Member States to access jobs in the public service.
- improving the matching of jobs with job-seekers: transform the EURES job seeker portal into a true European placement and recruitment tool by 2013.