Category Archives: Job Creation Measures

Employment has been made an absolute priority under the revised Lisbon Strategy. This is reflected in the programming of the Community financial instruments for the period 2007-2013 (the Community Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity, the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund). At the same time, the Commission is supporting the fight against unemployment and undeclared work through the modernisation of public employment services and the promotion of flexibility among employers and employees. It is encouraging differing policy approaches according to the key economic sectors, such as services, and categories of employees who could be better integrated into the labour market (e.g. women and older people). The Commission allows the Member States to use State aid and VAT reductions as instruments to foster employment.

State aid for employment

State aid for employment

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about State aid for employment

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Job creation measures

State aid for employment

State aid for job creation and aid to promote the recruitment of disadvantaged and disabled workers are exempt from any obligation to notify.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2204/2002 of 12 December 2002 on the application of Articles 87 and 88 of the EC Treaty to State aid for employment. [See amending acts].

Summary

The Regulation applies to two categories of employment aid: aid for job creation and aid to promote the recruitment of disadvantaged and disabled workers. Other types of employment aid are not prohibited, but they must be notified to the Commission in advance.

In accordance with Article 87(1) of the EC Treaty, aid exempted by the Regulation must have as its object and effect the promotion of employment, while leaving trade unaffected. Export aid is not covered by the Regulation.

Aid granted to an individual enterprise and aid which does not lead to an overall increase in the number of employees (e.g. aid to help convert temporary contracts into permanent ones) remains subject to the prior notification requirement. Enterprises which qualify for rescue and restructuring aid remain subject to the relevant EU guidelines.

The Regulation applies to all industries apart from coalmining (Council Regulation 1407/2002), shipbuilding (Council Regulation 1540/98) and transport, which remain subject to sector-specific rules.

Job creation

With regard to employment aid intended for job creation, the Regulation lays down the following ceilings:

  • In areas and sectors which do not qualify for regional aid, the gross aid intensity must not exceed the ceilings of 15 % in the case of small enterprises and 7.5 % in the case of medium-sized enterprises.
  • In areas and sectors which qualify for regional aid, the ceilings correspond to those mentioned on the regional aid maps and in the multisectoral framework for regional aid for large investment projects. In the case of SMEs, the ceiling is increased by 10 or 15 percentage points according to whether the areas are covered by point (c) or point (a) of Article 87(3). In less-favoured areas, it is these ceilings or, where appropriate, the higher ceilings provided for in Regulation 1257/1999 that apply.

Aid may be granted for a maximum period of two years, provided that the employment created:

  • represents a net increase in the number of employees;
  • is maintained for a minimum period of three years, or two years in the case of SMEs;
  • benefits workers who have never had a job or are unemployed.

To receive this type of aid, the beneficiary must submit an application to the Member States.

Recruitment of disadvantaged or disabled workers

The Regulation contains definitions of “disadvantaged worker” and “disabled worker” that are broad enough to include, in the case of the former, any person who is a member of an ethnic minority, a migrant or unemployed and, in the case of the latter, any person who has a physical, mental or psychological impairment.

In the case of aid to promote the recruitment of disadvantaged or disabled workers, Member States may grant enterprises aid of up to 50 % (for disadvantaged workers) and 60 % (for disabled workers) of wage costs and compulsory social security contributions over a period of one year. Aid may also be granted to compensate for the reduced productivity of such workers and to adapt premises and provide special assistance.

Cumulation

The ceilings laid down in the Regulation apply irrespective of whether the resources are national resources or EU resources. On the other hand, only aid to disadvantaged and disabled workers may be combined with other State aid or with other EU support measures, provided that this does not result in a gross aid intensity exceeding 100 % of wage costs.

Transparency and monitoring

In order to ensure effective monitoring and a sufficient degree of transparency, the Commission requires Member States:

  • to notify it, within 20 working days using a standard form (Annex I), of the implementation of any aid scheme exempted by the Regulation;
  • to maintain detailed records of aid schemes exempted by the Regulation;
  • to compile an annual report on the application of the Regulation (Annex II).

At the end of the period of validity of the Regulation, aid schemes exempted under the Regulation will remain exempted during an adjustment period of six months.

Regulation (EC) No 2204/2002, initially scheduled to expire on 31 December 2006, was extended a first time until 31 December 2007 by Regulation (EC) No 1040/2006, then a second time until 30 June 2008 by Regulation (EC) No 1976/2006.

Background

Within the framework of Regulation 994/98, which allows the Commission to exempt certain categories of State aid, the Regulation is designed to exempt aid for job creation and aid to promote the recruitment of disadvantaged and disabled workers in order to simplify administrative procedures.

In the light of experience gained in applying employment aid provisions, the Regulation exempts employment aid where it is intended for areas that qualify for regional aid, or for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) rather than large enterprises.

The Regulation takes account, however, of the guidelines on national regional aid and of Regulation 70/2001 on State aid to small and medium-sized enterprises.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 2204/2002 02.01.2003-30.06.2008 OJ L 337 of 13.12.2002
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1040/2006 28.07.2006 OJ L 187 of 08.07.2006
Regulation (EC) No 1976/2006 24.12.2006 OJ L 368 of 23.12.2006

VAT: labour-intensive services

VAT: labour-intensive services

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about VAT: labour-intensive services

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Job creation measures

VAT: labour-intensive services

The present directive allows those Member States wishing to do so to experiment with the operation and impact, in terms of job creation, of a targeted reduction of the VAT rate for labour-intensive services.

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 1999/85/EC of 22 October 1999 amending Directive 77/388/EEC as regards the possibility of applying on an experimental basis a reduced VAT rate on labour-intensive services [Official Journal L 277 of 28.10.1999].

Council Directive 2006/18/EC of 14 February 2006 amending Directive 77/388/EEC with regard to reduced rates of value added tax [Official Journal L 51 of 22.2.2006]

Summary

Council Directive 77/388/EEC of 17 May 1977 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to turnover taxes – common system of value added tax: uniform basis of assessment provides that Member States may apply either one or two reduced rates, of at least 5%, on supplies of goods and services of a social and cultural nature.

This Directive amends Directive 77/388/EEC. It allows Member States to apply the reduced rates to the services listed in a maximum of two of the categories set out in the Annex.

The services in question are:

  • small repair services (bicycles, shoes and leather goods, clothing and household linen);
  • renovation and repair of private dwellings, excluding materials which form a significant part of the value of supply;
  • window cleaning and cleaning in private households;
  • domestic care services;
  • hairdressing.

All these services must satisfy the following requirements:

  • they must be local and labour intensive;
  • they must be supplied direct to consumers;
  • they must not be likely to create distortions for competition;
  • they must have a high price elasticity (if their price falls, demand increases).

The Member States must present a general report to the Commission assessing the effectiveness of the measures in terms of its objectives.

The Commission must submit a report to Parliament and the Council on the Directive, its relevance and implementation.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 1999/85/EC 28.10.1999 31.12.2002 OJ L 277 of 28.10.1999

Related Acts

Council Decision of 30 January 2007 authorising Romania to apply a reduced rate of VAT to certain labour-intensive services referred to in Article 106 of Directive 2006/112/EC [Official Journal L 22 of 31.1.2007].

Council Decision of 7 November 2006 authorising certain Member States to apply a reduced rate of VAT to certain labour-intensive services in accordance with the procedure provided for in Article 28(6) of Directive 77/388/EEC [Official Journal L 314 of 15.11.06].

Council Directive 2004/15/EC of 10 February 2004 amending Directive 77/388/EEC to extend the facility allowing Member States to apply reduced rates of VAT to certain labour-intensive services [Official Journal L 52 of 21.02.2004].

Report of 2 June 2003 from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament entitled “Experimental application of a reduced rate of VAT to certain labour-intensive services” [COM(2003) 309 – Not published in the Official Journal].

In this report the Commission gives a global evaluation of the experiment to test the effect that reducing the VAT rate on specific, labour-intensive services has had on job creation and cutting back the black economy. Where the services included in the experiment in nine Member States are concerned (small repair services, renovation and repair of private dwellings, window cleaning, domestic care services and hairdressing), the report states that there is no solid evidence of the measure having had a favourable effect on jobs or having reduced the black economy.

Council Directive 2002/93/EC of 3 December 2002 amending Directive 77/388/EEC to extend the facility allowing Member States to apply reduced rates of VAT to certain labour-intensive services [Official Journal L 18 of 23.1.03].

Council Decision of 28 February 2000 authorising Member States to apply a reduced rate of VAT to certain labour-intensive services in accordance with the procedure provided for in Article 28(6) of Directive 77/388/EEC [Official Journal L 59 of 4.3.2000].

 

ERDF: European Regional Development Fund

ERDF: European Regional Development Fund

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about ERDF: European Regional Development Fund

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Job creation measures

ERDF: European Regional Development Fund

This regulation defines the scope of assistance from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) during the period 2000-06. The Fund aims to promote economic and social cohesion by correcting the main regional imbalances and participating in the development and conversion of regions, while ensuring synergy with assistance from the other Structural Funds.

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1783/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 1999 on the European Regional Development Fund [Official Journal L 213 of 13.08.1999].

3) Summary

Framework and tasks

Regulation (EC) No 1783/1999 comes under the overall framework established by Council Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 laying down general provisions on the Structural Funds. It requires the ERDF to provide assistance under the new Objectives 1 and 2, the Community Initiatives for cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation (Interreg III) and economic and social regeneration of cities and urban neighbourhoods in crisis (Urban II), and innovative measures and technical assistance measures under the general Regulation.

In order to reduce the gap between the levels of development of the various regions and the extent to which the least-favoured regions and islands (including rural areas) are lagging behind, the ERDF contributes to the harmonious, balanced and sustainable development of economic activity, to a high degree of competitiveness, to high levels of employment and protection of the environment, and to equality between women and men.

Scope

As part of its task to promote regional development, the ERDF contributes towards financing the following measures:

  • Productive investment to create and safeguard sustainable jobs;
  • Investment in infrastructure which contributes, in regions covered by Objective 1, to development, structural adjustment and creation and maintenance of sustainable jobs, or, in all eligible regions, to diversification, revitalisation, improved access and regeneration of economic sites and industrial areas suffering from decline, depressed urban areas, rural areas and areas dependent on fisheries. Such investment may also target the development of trans-European networks in the areas of transport, telecommunications and energy in the regions covered by Objective 1;
  • Development of the endogenous potential by measures which support local development and employment initiatives and the activities of small and medium-sized enterprises; such assistance is aimed at services for enterprises, transfer of technology, development of financing instruments, direct aid to investment, provision of local infrastructure, and aid for structures providing neighbourhood services;
  • Investment in education and health (only in the context of Objective 1).

The areas in which these measures provide support include development of the productive environment, research and technological development, development of the information society, protection and improvement of the environment, equality between men and women in the field of employment, and cross-border transnational and inter-regional cooperation.

Pursuant to the general Regulation, the Community’s Interreg III Initiative and innovative measures (studies, pilot projects, exchanges of experience) in the field of regional or local development are financed exclusively by the ERDF. However, the scope of the ERDF may be extended to overlap with the other Structural Funds in order to cover the necessary measures for the implementation of the Initiative programmes or pilot projects concerned.

Implementing rules

Implementing rules for the ERDF Regulation may be adopted on the basis of the opinion of the Committee on the Development and Conversion of Regions.

Other provisions

This Regulation repeals Regulation (EEC) No 4254/88 with effect from 1 January 2000. It will, in turn, be reviewed by 31 December 2006 at the latest.

Act Date
of entry into force
Final date for implementation in the Member States
Regulation (EC) No. 1260/1999 16.08.1999

Related Acts

Proposal of 14 July 2004 for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Regional Development Fund [COM (2004) 495 final].

This document proposes the repeal of the present Regulation.

Proposal of 14 July 2004 for a Regulation of the Council laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund COM (2004) 492 final.

ERDF INNOVATIVE MEASURES

Commission communication of 31.01.2001, “The regions in the new economy : Guidelines for innovative measures under the ERDF, 200006″ [COM(2001) 60 final Not published in the Official Journal]
Based on Article 22 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999, this communication lays down that the aim of the innovative measures (studies, pilot projects and exchanges of experience) to which the ERDF contributes is to reinforce competitiveness in Europe by reducing the gaps between regions and supporting innovation, RTD and the use of new information and communication technologies. It therefore forms part of the strategy approved at the European Council in Lisbon on 23/24 March 2000, which aims at boosting employment, economic competitiveness and social cohesion in the framework of a knowledge-based economy.
In the period 2000-2006 the innovative measures must therefore concentrate on three priorities:

  • regional economy based on knowledge and technological innovation : helping the less-favoured regions to raise the level of their technology;
  • the information society at the service of regional development (e Europe-regio);
  • regional identity and sustainable development : promoting regional cohesion and competitiveness through an approach which integrates economic, environmental and social activity.

Implementing the innovative measures should also make it possible to:

  • improve the quality of assistance under the Objective 1 and 2 programmes to which the ERDF contributes;
  • enhance and strengthen the public-private partnership;
  • exploit the synergies between regional policy and the other Community policies;
  • have exchanges between regions and collective learning by means of the comparison and spread of best practice.

The innovative measures form part of regional programmes of innovative measures whose strategy is determined, in line with the regional partnership principle, by a steering committee. Programme proposals must be submitted to the Commission by 31 May each year at the latest from 2001 to 2005 so that the Commission can select those to be part-financed by the ERDF.
The innovative measures have an annual allocation of EUR 400 million, or 0.4 of the ERDF’s annual funding. Part-financing of their cost may amount to up to:

  • 80 %, in Objective 1 regions;
  • 50 %, or even 60 % where the Community relevance of the measures justifies it, in Objective 2 regions.

For reasons of consistency, it would be preferable if the bodies responsible for payment and monitoring were the same in the case of both the programmes of innovative measures and the Objective 1 and 2 programmes.

Programming in accordance with the general Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999.

ESF: European Social Fund.

ESF: European Social Fund.

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about ESF: European Social Fund.

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Job creation measures

ESF: European Social Fund.

To redefine the framework and political priorities of the European Social Fund (ESF) for the period 2000-06 to support the European Employment Strategy as part of the Agenda 2000 reform of the Structural Funds and to guarantee consistency and complementarity in the measures taken to improve the workings of the labour market and to develop human resources.

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1784/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 1999 on the European Social Fund [Official Journal L 213 of 13.08.1999].

Summary

This Regulation falls within the overall framework set up under Council Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 laying down general provisions on the Structural Funds. It contains specific provisions applicable to the ESF to the effect that the Fund must provide assistance throughout the European Union in line with the new Objectives 1, 2 and 3 set up under the General Regulation.

Remit

The ESF’s remit is to support measures which aim to prevent and combat unemployment, develop human resources and foster social integration in the labour market, so as to promote a high level of employment, equal opportunities for men and women, sustainable development and economic and social cohesion. In particular, it must assist the measures taken in line with the European strategy and guidelines on employment.

Scope

The ESF provides assistance for the three new objectives laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1260/99 concerning the general provisions on the Structural Funds.

The Regulation provides for five key policy areas for the ESF:

  • development of active labour market policies to combat and prevent unemployment, to avoid long-term unemployment, to facilitate the reintegration of the long-term unemployed and to support integration into the labour market of young people and persons returning to work after a period of absence;
  • promotion of equal opportunities for all in terms of access to the labour market, with particular attention to persons at risk of social exclusion;
  • promotion and improvement of vocational training, education and counselling in the context of a lifelong learning policy;
  • promotion of a skilled, well-trained and flexible workforce, innovative and adaptable forms of work organisation, and entrepreneurship;
  • specific measures to improve access and active participation of women in the labour market (career prospects, access to new job opportunities, setting up businesses, etc.).

Objective 3 is intended to provide “horizontal” assistance throughout the European Union, outside regions eligible under the new Objective 1.

In addition, the ESF encompasses three horizontal issues:

  • promotion of local employment initiatives (including territorial pacts for employment);
  • the social dimension and employment in the information society;
  • equal opportunities for men and women (as part of the drive for mainstreaming equal opportunities policies).

Eligible Activities

In general, three forms of assistance are eligible for ESF funding:

  • assistance for individuals, which should represent the main form of aid, covering areas such as vocational training or education and careers guidance, etc.;
  • assistance for structures and systems to make support activities for individuals more effective (e.g. improving personal effectiveness);
  • accompanying measures (provision of services and equipment for the care of dependent persons, promotion of social skills training, and public awareness and information campaigns).

The ESF must provide assistance based on the national priorities set out in National Action Plans for employment which are drawn up by Member States. It also needs to take ex-ante evaluations into account.

Concentration of assistance

To make ESF measures more effective, assistance must be concentrated on a limited number of areas or themes and be directed towards the most important needs and the most effective operations, having due regard to ex ante evaluations and to covering relevant areas of policy.

The Regulation establishes small subsidy schemes under Objectives 1 and 3 with special provisions governing access for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and local partners. It also provides for ESF financing of up to 100% of eligible costs for implementation of these schemes.

Community Initiatives, innovative measures and technical assistance

In accordance with the provisions laid down in the General Regulation governing the Structural Funds, the ESF helps to implement the Community initiative to combat all forms of discrimination and inequality in the labour market (EQUAL).
Social and occupational integration of asylum seekers is also to be taken into account in the EQUAL initiative.

The ESF also finances preparation, follow-up and assessment activities in the Member States or at Community level needed to develop:

  • innovative measures and pilot projects on the labour market, employment and vocational training;
  • studies and experience sharing, producing a multiplier effect;
  • technical assistance linked to the preparation, follow-up, assessment and vetting of ESF-funded operations;
  • measures intended for employees of firms in two or more Member States under the Social Dialogue;
  • information arrangements for the various partners involved, the final beneficiaries and the general public.

Transitional provisions

The transitional regime laid down in the General Regulation on the Structural Funds applies to the Regulation on the ESF.

Reexamination

The Council will reexamine the Regulation by 31 December 2006 at the latest.

Repeal

Regulation (EEC) No 4255/88 will be repealed on 1 January 2000.

Act Date
of entry into force
Final date for implementation in the Member States
Regulation (EC) No 1784/1999 16.08.1999

Related Acts

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Social Fund [com(2004) 493 final].

This document provides for the repeal of this Regulation.

Proposal for a Council Regulation laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund [COM(2004) 492 final].

Job creation measures

Job creation measures

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Job creation measures

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Job creation measures

Job creation measures

Employment has been made an absolute priority under the revised Lisbon Strategy. This is reflected in the programming of the Community financial instruments for the period 2007-2013 (the Community Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity, the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund). At the same time, the Commission is supporting the fight against unemployment and undeclared work through the modernisation of public employment services and the promotion of flexibility among employers and employees. It is encouraging differing policy approaches according to the key economic sectors, such as services, and categories of employees who could be better integrated into the labour market (e.g. women and older people). The Commission allows the Member States to use State aid and VAT reductions as instruments to foster employment.

JOB CREATION MEASURES

Positive actions

  • New skills for new jobs
  • Towards common principles of flexicurity
  • Promoting solidarity between the generations
  • The Community Lisbon Programme
  • Community programme for employment and solidarity – PROGRESS (2007-2013)
  • European Progress Microfinance Facility (EPMF)
  • Programme for mutual learning in employment
  • Cohesion Policy in support of growth and jobs – Community Strategic Guidelines, 2007-13
  • The European Social Fund (2007-2013)
  • European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) (2007-2013)
  • ESF: European Social Fund.
  • ERDF: European Regional Development Fund

Tackling unemployment and undeclared work

  • Undeclared work
  • Modernising public employment services
  • Undeclared work
  • A comprehensive approach contributing to making work pay
  • Restructuring and employment: the role of the European Union in anticipating and accompanying restructuring in order to develop employment

SECTORAL JOB CREATION PROMOTION

Job creation through enterprise policy

  • Access to financing for businesses
  • Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

Services

  • ‘Services’ Directive

Information society and research

  • Research and innovation serving growth and employment
  • i2010: Information Society and the media working towards growth and jobs

Environnement

  • Strategy for sustainable development

Agriculture

  • Employment in rural areas: closing the jobs gap

FINANCIAL DIMENSION OF JOB CREATION

  • State aid for employment
  • Risk Capital Action Plan (RCAP)
  • VAT: labour-intensive services

Undeclared work

Undeclared work

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Undeclared work

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Job creation measures

Undeclared work

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 7 April 1998 on undeclared work [COM(98) 219 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Undeclared work affects all Member States and is therefore one of the issues of common concern in the employment field.

Undeclared work may be described as “any paid activities that are lawful as regards their nature but not declared to the public authorities, taking into account differences in the regulatory systems of Member States”. This definition excludes criminal activities and work which does not have to be declared.

It is by definition difficult to determine the extent of undeclared work. On the basis of the adopted hypotheses, the size of the undeclared economy is put at between 7% and 16% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the European Union, or between 7% and 19% of total declared employment.

The main attraction of the undeclared economy is financial. This type of activity allows employers, paid employees and the self-employed to increase their earnings or reduce their costs by evading taxation and social contributions.

The scope for and extent of undeclared work vary according to different institutional aspects of the economy of each Member State, such as:

  • tax and social contributional levels,
  • burden of general costs and administrative procedures,
  • inappropriateness of legislation with regard to new forms of work,
  • local industrial structures based on a large number of small firms,
  • low competitiveness of firms in declining sectors which need a lot of low-qualified labour,
  • cultural acceptance of the informal economy,
  • existence of easy opportunities.

Four main groups of undeclared workers can be identified:

  • persons with two or more jobs;
  • “economically inactive” persons (students, housewives, early retired persons);
  • the unemployed;
  • illegal immigrants.

Undeclared work is particularly prevalent in labour-intensive sectors:

  • the traditional sectors such as agriculture, construction, retail trade, catering and domestic services;
  • manufacturing and business services where competitiveness depends mainly on costs;
  • innovative sectors using electronic communications.

Undeclared work can have a significant impact on public finances, owing to the resulting tax and social contributions revenue losses. This situation creates a vicious circle, as the government raises taxes to continue to provide public services, thus creating more incentives for undeclared work.

The impact on individuals is also significant. As regards social security cover, the implications vary depending on the Member State and the individual situation. In any event, undeclared workers are not covered by unemployment insurance or insurance against workplace accidents. Undeclared workers who are officially inactive forgo all the benefits of working with a formal contract, such as training, a specific career profile, pay rises and a sense of belonging to the firm. They will also have difficulty in moving into other jobs.

The problem of undeclared work can be interpreted in two ways:

  • as a situation in which individuals or firms taking advantage of the system, damaging solidarity. In this case political intervention should be oriented towards sanctions and awareness-raising;
  • as the outcome of the inappropriateness of legislation to new forms of work, in which case action should concentrate on prevention (simplification of procedures, recognition of new occupations and competences, reduction of taxation on labour, etc.).

It is therefore important to reduce the economic incentives for not declaring work and to change the risk/advantage balance. In order to be effective in combating undeclared work, a comprehensive targeted strategy must be established. A mix of measures drawing on the two approaches outlined above must be implemented, ensuring that the various measures interact and that other policy initiatives do not contradict them.

Member States have implemented a number of measures tailored to match the differing forms of the phenomenon and their prevalence. In some Member States initiatives have concentrated on undeclared work in the form of second jobs, whereas in others they have been aimed at the more “industrialised” form of undeclared work. It is important to note, however, that some initiatives taken with other objectives in mind have had positive side-effects on undeclared work.

The measures to be implemented will necessarily differ among the Member States. Implementation of several of the employment guidelines for 1998, such as those on developing entrepreneurship and encouraging adaptability, will help to discourage undeclared work. If action at EU level proves necessary, it could be considered in the context of the employment guidelines for 1999.

Related Acts

Commission report of May 2004 concerning , entitled “An analysis of undeclared work: an in-depth study of specific items”.
The new study shows that the construction sector tops the league for undeclared work. Next come agriculture and the hotel and restaurant sector, followed by personal and domestic services. In the new Member States medical services, private tutoring, real estate transactions and business services also feature.

Council resolution on transforming undeclared work into regular employment [Official Journal C 260 of 29.10.2003]
This resolution aims to strengthen employment guideline 9 (2003-2005), which was included in guideline 20 (2005-2008) on the transformation of undeclared work into regular employment in the framework of the European Employment Strategy (EES). These policies are based on:

  • preventive actions: the aim is to simplify procedures and reduce the costs and constraints which limit the creation and development of businesses, in particular start-ups and small undertakings; to remove disincentives to declare work on both the demand and the supply sides;
  • sanctions: the aim is to strengthen surveillance and to apply appropriate sanctions in respect of those who benefit from clandestine labour and also to protect the victims, notably through better coordination between the relevant authorities (tax offices, labour inspectorates, police);
  • cooperation between Member States with a view to combating social security fraud and undeclared work in the framework of transnational economic activities;
  • a campaign to raise social awareness as regards the negative implications of undeclared work for social security and the consequences of undeclared work for solidarity and fairness.

The Member States also intend to assess the extent of the problem of clandestine labour and the progress made in this area and possibly develop a joint approach to combating undeclared work. The social partners should address the issue of undeclared work at sectoral level and promote, at national level, the simplification of the business environment, notably for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Commission report of October 2001 on undeclared work in Europe: an integrated approach towards combating undeclared work.

Resolution of the Council and the representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, of 22 April 1999, on a code of conduct for improved cooperation between authorities of the Member States concerning the combating of transnational social security benefit and contribution fraud and undeclared work, and concerning the transnational hiring-out of workers [Official Journal C 125 of 06.05.1999].
In order to combat undeclared work and social security benefit and contribution fraud, the Member States decided on a programme of cooperation and reciprocal provision of administrative assistance. This cooperation is characterised by:

  • direct communication between competent bodies;
  • designation of national liaison offices in the Member States in order to facilitate cooperation, and their notification to the other Member States and to the Commission;
  • forwarding of any request for cooperation to the competent body of a Member State;
  • reciprocal provision of administrative assistance between the competent bodies (supply of information and transmission of documents).

Modernising public employment services

Modernising public employment services

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Modernising public employment services

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Job creation measures

Modernising public employment services

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 13 November 1998: Modernising public employment services to support the European Employment Strategy [COM(98) 641 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The public employment services (PESs) play an important part at local level in the implementation of employment policy. With more than 5 000 local agencies throughout the Union and around 160 000 staff, they are contacted directly by employers and job-seekers.

Given the recent developments on the labour market, it is essential to redefine the role of the PESs and their priorities and methods of operation.

Although the essential part of the institutional framework for the PESs depends on the measures taken in each Member State, the persons responsible for these services decided to extend the process at European level by stepping up their cooperation, exchanging their know-how and sharing their experience, with the support of the European Commission.

The PESs have traditionally had three functions in Europe:

  • provider of information on the labour market: collection of data on job vacancies and potential applicants and provision of information on the possibilities of training or retraining;
  • brokerage: main activity comprising the public display of job vacancies to be filled and encouragement of a rapid match between supply and demand (the PESs of the Member States are said to be involved in 10-30% of all recruitment);
  • market adjustment: the PESs, by being involved in the implementation of labour market policies, can help to adjust supply and demand in employment.

The essential role of the PESs has been reflected since 1998 in the Employment Guidelines under the four priority areas of action:

  • employability: the PESs play a key role in this area by providing counselling on job search techniques, access to vocational training and supplementary assistance for specific groups (disabled people, ethnic minorities). The Commission also underlines the need to enhance the training of young people in order to make it easier for them to enter the labour market. The PESs are involved in this work by guaranteeing the operation of apprenticeship training systems, ensuring that training places become available or acting as an intermediary between the training places and the young workers;
  • entrepreneurship: the promotion of self-employment for the unemployed or for workers threatened with redundancy is one of the objectives of the PESs. The PESs are also developing partnerships with other public or private bodies in order to introduce local job-creation strategies to meet the new needs;
  • adaptability: although the sheer scale of the unemployment problem means that the PESs focus most of their action on the unemployed, they continue to play a far from negligible role in the management of structural change in enterprises (involvement of the PESs in various programmes for training, retraining and redeploying workers who are having to cope with structural change and are in danger of losing their jobs);
  • equal opportunities: the PESs are involved in promoting female participation in the labour market. Their action specifically involves helping men and women who want to return to work after a period of absence, and implementing equal opportunity policies in the area of employment for certain categories of workers (disabled people, ethnic minorities).

The guidelines for the period 2005-2008 (integral guideline No 19) stress the importance of the continued modernisation and strengthening of employment services.

Faced with the rapid changes on the labour market for both workers (rise in the level of education, increase in the participation of women, ageing workforce, etc.) and employers (need for a labour force that is capable of adapting to the constant changes on the market, new forms of work organisation), the PESs have to adapt in order to be effective.

The PESs have to face a series of new challenges:

  • strengthen their position in sectors with high employment potential, especially the services sector;
  • develop the use of the new information and communication technologies;
  • reconcile the sometimes diverging demands of employers and job-seekers (systematic personalised case management helps to combat long-term unemployment but may be to the detriment of the service provided to employers);
  • build relationships with other service providers: commercial employment services already exist but mainly concern certain types of job-seekers (recruitment of executive or managerial staff). It is essential to redefine the role and tasks of the PESs in relation to the other providers of commercial or non-commercial services: for example, possibility of the PESs withdrawing from activities which can be carried out more effectively by other employment services, possibility of outsourcing certain tasks;
  • placement of job-seekers and management of benefits: most Member States would like to see the introduction of a system of benefits that makes a greater contribution to employment. In order to achieve this objective, it is necessary to establish a closer link between the management of benefit schemes and the delivery of employment services (although difficulties may arise because of the possible incompatibility between the management of benefits and the placing of job-seekers);
  • application of public policy and provision of a service: while the management and operation of the PESs increasingly resemble those of enterprises, the application of a public policy may burden the PESs with administrative and bureaucratic tasks. Agreements are regularly adopted between the PESs and the ministries in order to reconcile the need for national policy delivery and the operational independence of the agencies;
  • establishment of an appropriate level of delegation to the regional and local public authorities, which are increasingly involved in combating unemployment. However, this development will have to be reconciled with the maintenance of a unified national system for matters relating to equal treatment or the unification of the unemployment insurance system;
  • provision of a national service in a European context: the development of international labour mobility makes it essential to manage labour markets from a European perspective. Employers are looking for specific, highly qualified, multilingual staff who are capable of adapting to new cultures and new forms of work. The PESs will therefore have to respond to these new needs, in cooperation with the EURES network.

Most of the PESs have begun to modernise their organisation. This has mainly meant further decentralisation and greater margin for manoeuvre of the PESs for ensuring that the resources allocated to them are focused on the local labour market.

Most of the Member States have abolished the monopoly of the PESs. Links have begun to be developed with private agencies.

The European employment strategy (EES) has provided the opportunity to strengthen the modernisation process. The PESs are a key instrument in the implementation of the Guidelines, and the National Action Plans clearly place them at the centre of the national delivery systems for employment services.

In order to strengthen the effectiveness of the PESs, the European strategy advocates concerted action to meet the following conditions:

  • promoting access to job vacancies through various techniques of brokerage and job search assistance. This involves establishing and developing good relations with employers and the gradual transformation of the PESs into genuine service enterprises (modernisation of the range of services, creation of specific enterprise and sector desks, improvement of the public image, use of information technologies, etc.);
  • ensuring systematic management of the cases of unemployed people, which entails careful diagnosis of individual needs and close monitoring of unemployed job-seekers throughout their stay on the register of these services (regular interviews, introduction of tailor-made individual action plans);
  • contributing to the coordinated delivery of all services to job-seekers, in other words introducing close coordination between counselling, brokerage, information provision and income support;
  • exploiting synergy between PESs and the other relevant actors by building networks with the regional and local authorities, the social partners and the establishments providing vocational education or assistance to unemployed people;
  • using PESs to facilitate international labour mobility and reduce the obstacles to the free movement of workers within the European Union.

In order to ensure that the modernisation of the PESs is a success, concerted efforts are required at all levels:

  • the PESs should introduce more effective procedures and working methods and fully exploit the various possibilities offered by European cooperation;
  • the Member States, through the implementation of their employment strategy, should support the modernisation of the PESs and their development (quality of staff, overall restructuring of expenditure, decentralisation, etc.);
  • the social partners, which have already been involved in the management of the PESs for several years in most Member States (to differing degrees), have a crucial role to play in improving the adaptability of firms and their employees;
  • the European Union has introduced a series of instruments and programmes to support the efforts undertaken at national level (EURES, the European Social Fund, the Commission’s support for cooperation between the PESs in Europe).

Research and innovation serving growth and employment

Research and innovation serving growth and employment

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Research and innovation serving growth and employment

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Job creation measures

Research and innovation serving growth and employment

To make the European Union (EU) a vibrant knowledge economy. Such is the common approach proposed by the European Commission. Its Communication describes the action to be taken at European and national levels in the fields of research and innovation from the point of view of policies, funding and company management. It also sets out the commitments and measures included in the Community Lisbon Programme (CLP).

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 12 October, More Research and Innovation – Investing for Growth and Employment [COM(2005) 488 final – Official Journal C 49 of 28.02.2006].

Summary

The goal set by the 2002 Barcelona European Council was clear: to raise overall research investment from 1.9% of GDP to approach 3% by 2010. The 3% objective and the follow-up action plan have had a mobilising effect on Member States. Nearly all of them have fixed targets, which – if met – will bring research investment in the EU to 2.6% of GDP by 2010.

However, instead of increasing, research is stagnating. In most Member States, increases in public and private research investment are inadequate. Similarly, the range and ambition of policy initiatives fall far short of what the national targets require. As for the overall objective, the situation is relatively disappointing.

At world level, the EU is faced with competition from countries such as the USA, Japan, China, India and Brazil, making it difficult to attract investment in research and innovation.

The targets

If knowledge and innovation are to serve growth to the full, the Commission and Member States must make an effort on four fronts:

  • EU policies;
  • European funding;
  • businesses;
  • research and innovation policies.

EU policies in support of research and innovation

In its Communication, the Commission emphasises the need for the EU to “ensure a favourable regulatory environment” for research and innovation. Harmonisation of all policies at national and Community levels needs to be encouraged in order to support research and innovation.

State aid is an essential policy tool for the development of research and innovation. In order to ensure its long-term and optimum effects, the Commission has recently launched a consultation document on state aid for innovation. The document puts forward concrete proposals to improve the Community’s state aid rules and hence to increase funding possibilities as well as legal certainty. The promotion of eco-innovation is also one of the Commission’s targets.

Another research and innovation issue is the protection of intellectual property (IP). This is an essential matter for most high-technology companies, and in order to attract them, the EU therefore needs a suitable protection system. To this end, the introduction of the Community trade mark and the Community Design Right constitute major progress.

The Commission has also decided to strengthen existing information and support services such as the IPR Helpdesk and to encourage better cooperation among national agencies concerned with IP. It plans to launch a dialogue with industry and other stakeholders in 2006 to determine what else might be done to provide European industry with a sound IPR framework.

A further challenge to the EU is to attract more researchers. In this connection, the aim is to create an open and competitive European labour market for researchers, enhancing diversification of competences and career paths at transnational level. Despite the progress made at national and European levels, mobility remains a source of uncertainty among researchers, especially from the legal, administrative and information points of view. In order to overcome these difficulties, the Commission will:

  • support the application and development of measures to overcome persistent obstacles faced by mobile researchers (in cooperation with the Member States);
  • foster public recognition of researchers and encourage Member States to do the same.

In order to raise awareness of the benefits of reorienting public procurement towards stimulating research and innovation, the Commission also intends to publish a handbook on the subject. The main aim here is to publicise the possibilities offered by Community public procurement law.

Finally, the Commission is planning to put forward guidelines intended to encourage the optimum use of tax incentives for research and development.

Summing up, the Member States, in order to encourage research and innovation, are called upon to:

  • transpose Community legislation accordingly;
  • fully exploit the possibilities of the new regulatory framework;
  • adopt the Community patent and, in the meantime, improve the current system;
  • support Community measures relating to human resources in the research field;
  • perhaps review public procurement practices through mutual learning and use the possibilities offered by the new legislation;
  • implement the forthcoming guidelines on a voluntary basis, taking account of national contexts.

Research, innovation and European funding

Support programmes are essential to research and innovation. This area must thus become a priority from the point of view of the allocation of public funding, at all levels. Similarly, better use should be made of public support mechanisms as an incentive for private investment, e.g. grants, equity instruments, guarantee schemes and other risk-sharing mechanisms.

To this end, several instruments have already been put in place or proposed by the Commission:

  • the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7);
  • the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP);
  • the Structural Funds;
  • the Rural Development Fund;
  • other complementary instruments, each with its specific form of governance.

As regards funding, a major effort has already been made during the 2000-2006 programming period. However, there is still more to be done at both European and national levels.

At European level, the Commission will:

  • encourage, particularly through Strategic Guidelines for Cohesion Policy, the use of the Structural Funds to encourage research and innovation. Similar efforts are being made in connection with the European Social Fund;
  • promote better access to finance for innovative SMEs;
  • support the development of new technologies and foster their market uptake;
  • mobilise national and regional research and innovation programmes and other sources of funding.

At national level, it will be a question of:

  • adopting the Commission’s proposals on the Structural and Cohesion Funds;
  • taking full advantage of the wide range of research and innovation opportunities offered by these Funds and the Rural Development Fund;
  • making full use of equity and guarantee schemes;
  • getting Member States’ financial communities to facilitate access to finance;
  • taking advantage of Community support schemes to foster transnational cooperation.

Research and innovation at the heart of business

Research and innovation contribute to the growth and wealth of businesses. Even more so when they form clusters * or networks. In order to bring research and industry permanently closer in this way, various initiatives should be encouraged at both European and Member State levels.

In order to tackle the current fragmentation of the European research and innovation system, the idea is to:

  • define and implement EU guidelines on strengthening collaboration and knowledge transfer between the research world and industry;
  • encourage innovation poles and knowledge-driven and industrial clusters;
  • make full use of the Structural Funds for the development of innovation poles and participate in EU initiatives to promote clusters * and their networking (Europe-INNOVA, “Regions of Knowledge”);
  • provide specific business support services, in particular for SMEs;
  • make full use of the Structural Funds and the network of Innovation Relay Centres;
  • encourage synergies with other business support networks (Euro Info Centres);
  • encourage best practices in innovation management by developing new self-assessment tools and creating a new European Innovation Prize;
  • design and implement a strategy to promote innovative services in the EU;
  • establish a European Industrial Research and Innovation Monitoring System to improve observation and analysis of private investment in research and innovation at sectoral level;
  • take account of the results of observation and analysis at EU level.

Towards an improvement in research and innovation policies

In view of the patchwork nature of national and regional research and innovation systems, which reduces their effectiveness, the regions, Member States and Community institutions must develop coherent and complementary policies. This is part of the revised Lisbon strategy.

The specific measures needed are:

  • monitoring and support by the Commission for the development of national research and innovation policies;
  • appropriate implementation of National Reform Programmes (NRPs) by the Member States;
  • further development and use of policy analysis instruments such as the European Trend Chart on Innovation and the Integrated Information System on National Research Policies (ERAWATCH) by the Commission in partnership with the Member States;
  • provision and use of European platforms for learning and policy coordination, especially research policy coordination under the Scientific and Technical Research Committee (CREST);
  • finally, the strengthening of transnational policy cooperation.

Background

This Communication follows the launching of the new Lisbon partnership for growth and jobs, which designates knowledge and innovation as one of the three main areas of action. It describes the measures to be taken in this field, in accordance with the new overarching partnership between the Community and the Member States based on the integrated guidelines (IG) for the preparation of the National Reform Programmes (NRP) and on the Community Lisbon programme (CLP).

Key terms used in the act
Cluster: a (geographical) location with an above-average concentration of industrial enterprises and research/higher education establishments operating in a particular field at world-class level or intending to do so soon. Each cluster is strengthened by the presence of risk capital and the support of the State and local authorities.

Related Acts

Communication to the Spring European Council of 2 February 2005, Working together for growth and jobs – A new start for the Lisbon Strategy [COM(2005) 24 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission of 4 June 2003, Investing in research: an action plan for Europe [COM(2003) 226 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission, of 11 March 2003,Innovation policy: updating the Union’s approach in the context of the Lisbon [COM(2003) 112 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Job creation measures

Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 20 April 2004 “Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe” [COM(2004) 274 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission intends to set out an industrial policy for the European Union (EU) that matches up to the issues facing Europe, particularly the effects of enlargement and international competition. This policy aims to promote competitiveness and encourage more appropriate regulation, so that European industry remains innovative and continues to create jobs and growth.

The Member States and the European institutions must organise the structural changes in European industry around the factors of production of an enlarged Europe and the innovative capacity of a knowledge-based Europe.

No deindustrialisation but necessary structural change

Although the Commission does not see a general process of deindustrialisation at EU level, structural changes are profoundly affecting the industrial landscape. Jobs and resources in labour-intensive sectors or those facing intense competition are being shifted towards sectors where there are comparative advantages. The impact of these structural changes is positive for the EU as a whole, but may be damaging at local level for certain sectors or regions.

However, these shifts in jobs and resources must be backed by measures to promote research and innovation in order to maintain the EU’s comparative advantage in sectors with high added value. The pressure of international competition has intensified in recent years, and is affecting more and more industrial sectors. The relocation of jobs to emerging economies no longer affects only traditional labour-intensive sectors; increasingly, its effects are being felt in hi-tech industries and the services sector. The only way Europe will be able to take full advantage of industrial globalisation is by adopting an industrial policy that focuses on competitiveness.

Opportunities afforded by enlargement

The enlargement of 2004 offers European industry significant opportunities, provided that the restructuring of the relevant sectors is not hampered by national protection measures. On the demand side, the internal market has been extended to include booming national consumer markets. On the supply side, companies can reorganise production to benefit from the competitive advantages of the new Member States.

The new Member States have an important role to play in the transition to a knowledge-based economy. Their inclusion can boost the EU’s industrial performance and stimulate the internal market in the face of competition from non-member countries. The competitive advantages of the new Member States should make it possible for jobs that would otherwise have been transferred to Asia to be relocated within the EU. The sectors most affected by the arrival of new companies are food and beverages, transport equipment, base metals and metal products.

Tools to foster structural change

The Commission’s objective, in line with the priorities set out in the 2002 communication on industrial policy in an enlarged Europe, is to rally public stakeholders around three areas of action for fostering change in European industry.

The first area of action concerns regulation and all the laws governing industrial activity in the EU. The aim is to bring legislation into line with the needs of businesses, both at national and European levels. Particular attention should be paid to competitiveness and to analysing the combined effects of different regulations on each sector of activity.

The second goal is to ensure that EU measures in different areas that have an impact on industry, particularly research, competition, employment and regional development, are better coordinated. The Commission intends to use these different policies to improve productivity gains and promote the use of knowledge. In more general terms, greater synergy between the EU’s different policy areas will boost the competitiveness of European businesses.

The third target concerns the sectoral dimension of EU industrial policy. The Commission aims to make EU industrial activity more visible in key sectors by involving interested parties, thus highlighting the added value of industrial policy at European level.

Background

This Communication forms part of the debate on how industrial policy can contribute to improving industrial competitiveness, launched by the Commission’s communication of 11 December 2002. It should help European industry meet the objective the EU set itself at the 2000 European Council in Lisbon.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 21 November 2003, “Some Key Issues in Europe’s Competitiveness” [COM(2003) 704 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission of 11 December 2002 on industrial policy in an enlarged Europe [COM(2002) 714 final – not published in the Official Journal].

 


Another Normative about Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Enterprise > Industry

Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 20 April 2004 “Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe” [COM(2004) 274 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission intends to set out an industrial policy for the European Union (EU) that matches up to the issues facing Europe, particularly the effects of enlargement and international competition. This policy aims to promote competitiveness and encourage more appropriate regulation, so that European industry remains innovative and continues to create jobs and growth.

The Member States and the European institutions must organise the structural changes in European industry around the factors of production of an enlarged Europe and the innovative capacity of a knowledge-based Europe.

No deindustrialisation but necessary structural change

Although the Commission does not see a general process of deindustrialisation at EU level, structural changes are profoundly affecting the industrial landscape. Jobs and resources in labour-intensive sectors or those facing intense competition are being shifted towards sectors where there are comparative advantages. The impact of these structural changes is positive for the EU as a whole, but may be damaging at local level for certain sectors or regions.

However, these shifts in jobs and resources must be backed by measures to promote research and innovation in order to maintain the EU’s comparative advantage in sectors with high added value. The pressure of international competition has intensified in recent years, and is affecting more and more industrial sectors. The relocation of jobs to emerging economies no longer affects only traditional labour-intensive sectors; increasingly, its effects are being felt in hi-tech industries and the services sector. The only way Europe will be able to take full advantage of industrial globalisation is by adopting an industrial policy that focuses on competitiveness.

Opportunities afforded by enlargement

The enlargement of 2004 offers European industry significant opportunities, provided that the restructuring of the relevant sectors is not hampered by national protection measures. On the demand side, the internal market has been extended to include booming national consumer markets. On the supply side, companies can reorganise production to benefit from the competitive advantages of the new Member States.

The new Member States have an important role to play in the transition to a knowledge-based economy. Their inclusion can boost the EU’s industrial performance and stimulate the internal market in the face of competition from non-member countries. The competitive advantages of the new Member States should make it possible for jobs that would otherwise have been transferred to Asia to be relocated within the EU. The sectors most affected by the arrival of new companies are food and beverages, transport equipment, base metals and metal products.

Tools to foster structural change

The Commission’s objective, in line with the priorities set out in the 2002 communication on industrial policy in an enlarged Europe, is to rally public stakeholders around three areas of action for fostering change in European industry.

The first area of action concerns regulation and all the laws governing industrial activity in the EU. The aim is to bring legislation into line with the needs of businesses, both at national and European levels. Particular attention should be paid to competitiveness and to analysing the combined effects of different regulations on each sector of activity.

The second goal is to ensure that EU measures in different areas that have an impact on industry, particularly research, competition, employment and regional development, are better coordinated. The Commission intends to use these different policies to improve productivity gains and promote the use of knowledge. In more general terms, greater synergy between the EU’s different policy areas will boost the competitiveness of European businesses.

The third target concerns the sectoral dimension of EU industrial policy. The Commission aims to make EU industrial activity more visible in key sectors by involving interested parties, thus highlighting the added value of industrial policy at European level.

Background

This Communication forms part of the debate on how industrial policy can contribute to improving industrial competitiveness, launched by the Commission’s communication of 11 December 2002. It should help European industry meet the objective the EU set itself at the 2000 European Council in Lisbon.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 21 November 2003, “Some Key Issues in Europe’s Competitiveness” [COM(2003) 704 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission of 11 December 2002 on industrial policy in an enlarged Europe [COM(2002) 714 final – not published in the Official Journal].

 

I2010: Information Society and the media working towards growth and jobs

i2010: Information Society and the media working towards growth and jobs

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about i2010: Information Society and the media working towards growth and jobs

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Digital Strategy i2010 Strategy eEurope Action Plan Digital Strategy Programmes

i2010: Information Society and the media working towards growth and jobs

i2010 is the European Commission’s new strategic framework laying out broad policy guidelines for the information society and the media. The purpose of this new, integrated policy is to encourage knowledge and innovation with a view to boosting growth and creating more better-quality jobs. It forms part of the revised Lisbon Strategy.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 1 June 2005 to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled “i2010 – A European Information Society for growth and employment” [COM(2005) 229 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Through i2010 the Commission is taking an integrated approach to the information society and to audio-visual media policies in the European Union. It aims to coordinate the actions undertaken by Member States to facilitate digital convergence and to respond to the challenges associated with the information society. In developing this strategy, the Commission has drawn on wide stakeholder consultation concerning previous initiatives and instruments such as and the Communication on the eEurope and the Communication on the future of European regulatory audio-visual policy.

The Commission proposes three priorities for Europe’s information society and media policy to be achieved by 2010: creating a Single European Information Space; promoting innovation and investment in research into information and communication technologies (ICT); achieving an inclusive European information and media society.

A Single European Information Space

In order to foster an open and competitive internal market for the information society and the media, the first objective of i2010 is to establish a Single European Information Space offering affordable and secure high-bandwidth communications, rich and diverse content and digital services. The Commission aims to achieve four main objectives:

  • to increase the speed of broadband services in Europe;
  • to encourage new services and on-line content;
  • to promote devices and platforms that “talk to one another”; and
  • to make the Internet safer from fraudsters, harmful content and technology failures.

In order to create the Single European Information Space the Commission intends to:

  • review the regulatory framework for electronic communications; this includes defining a strategy for efficient spectrum management;
  • create a consistent internal market framework for information society and media services by:
    • modernising the legal framework for audio-visual services, starting by revising the Television Without Frontiers Directive (2005);
    • making any necessary adaptations to the Community acquis affecting information society and media services (2007);
    • promoting fast and efficient implementation of the existing and updated acquis.
  • continue to support the creation and circulation of European content such as the eLearning and eContentplus programmes and their successors;
  • define and implement a strategy for a secure European Information Society, mainly by raising awareness of the need for self-protection, being vigilant and monitoring threats, and responding rapidly and effectively to attacks and system failures;
  • identify and promote targeted actions on interoperability, particularly digital rights management.

Innovation and investment in research

In order to boost innovation and investment into ICT research, the Commission wants to encourage world-class performance in research and innovation in ICT by closing the gap with Europe’s leading competitors by:

  • increasing Community ICT research support by 80% by 2010 and inviting Member States to do the same;
  • prioritising the key technology pillars of the 7th Framework Programme for research and technological development (FPRD), such as technologies for knowledge, content and creativity, advanced and open communication networks, secure and dependable software, embedded systems and nanoelectronics;
  • launching research and deployment initiatives to overcome key bottlenecks such as interoperability, security and reliability, and the management of identity and rights, which require both technological and organisational solutions;
  • defining complementary measures to encourage private investment in ICT research and innovation (2006);
  • making specific proposals on an “information society for all” in the Community Strategic Guidelines on Cohesion for the period 2007-13;
  • defining e-commerce policies aimed at removing technological, organisational and legal barriers to ICT adoption with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • developing tools to support new patterns of work that enhance innovation in enterprises and adaptation to new skill needs.

Inclusion, better public services and quality of life

The Commission wishes to boost social, economic and territorial cohesion by establishing an inclusive European information society. It intends to promote growth and jobs in a manner that is consistent with sustainable development and that prioritises better public services and quality of life. To achieve its aim of an inclusive information society, offering high-quality public services and improving quality of life, the Commission plans to:

  • issue policy guidance on e-accessibility and broadband coverage to make ICT systems easier to use for a larger number of people (2005);
  • propose a European initiative on e-inclusion, addressing issues such as equal opportunities, ICT skills and regional divides (2008);
  • adopt an Action Plan on eGovernment as well as strategic guidelines to encourage the public services to use ICTs. It will launch demo projects to test, at an operational scale, technological, legal and organisational solutions to bringing public services on-line;
  • launch three flagship ICT initiatives to improve quality of life: caring for people in an ageing society, safer and cleaner transport (and, in particular, the “intelligent car”) and digital libraries to encourage cultural diversity.

Governance

The Commission intends to develop proposals to update the regulatory frameworks for electronic communications, and information society and media services. It also proposes using the Community’s financial instruments to stimulate investment in strategic research and to overcome bottlenecks obstructing ICT innovation. Lastly, it aims to support policies to address inclusion and quality of life.

Member States, through the National Reform Programmes, have committed themselves to adopting information society priorities in line with the Integrated Guidelines for growth and jobs by mid?October 2005. They aim to:

  • ensure rapid and thorough transposition of the new regulatory frameworks affecting digital convergence with an emphasis on open and competitive markets;
  • increase the share of ICT research in national spending to develop modern, interoperable ICT-enabled public services;
  • use investment to encourage innovation in the ICT sector;
  • adopt ambitious targets for developing the information society at national level.

Member States have reported on their achievements within the framework defined by the review of the Lisbon Strategy.

The Commission will also ask other stakeholders to take part in dialogue in support of developing the information society. The Commission will target industrial partners in particular to encourage them to raise investments in research and new technologies in this field.

To ensure that all stakeholders are involved, the Commission proposes using the open method of communication, which includes an exchange of good practices and annual implementation reports in respect of the Lisbon objectives.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Europe’s Digital Competitiveness Report: main achievements of the i2010 strategy 2005-2009 [COM(2009) 390 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

This Communication reports on the i2010 strategy implemented between 2005 and 2009. It concludes that ICT action during the last four years has modernised Europe both from an economic and a social point of view, and has contributed to the following results:

  • the number of Europeans online has increased dramatically, particularly with regard to disadvantaged groups;
  • Europe is now the world leader in broadband internet;
  • broadband connections have increased;
  • Europe is in first place with regard to mobile phones;
  • supply and use of online services has increased sharply;
  • progress has been made in the ICT sector in micro-electronics, nano-electronics, health care and road safety;
  • ICT policies have gradually been mainstreamed.

Nevertheless, the European Union still lags behind in the area of technological research and development if its results are compared with those of the United States, Japan or South Korea. In order to maintain its competitiveness, it is therefore important that Europe equips itself with a new digital agenda. To this end, the Commission has planned to launch an online public consultation on some key areas for the EU’s future ICT and media policies.

Communication of 17 April 2008 from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Preparing Europe’s digital future – i2010 Mid-Term Review [COM(2008) 199 final – not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission notes the strong growth of broadband in Europe.Over half of all European (250 million people) use the internet on a regular basis. Nearly 40 million new users were registered in 2007. Public services, including 96% of Europe’s schools and 57% of its doctors, are using broadband connections more and more. 77% of all businesses had a broadband connection. Broadband is becoming the standard mode of connectivity.
Apart from noting the strong growth in broadband use across the EU, however, the report puts equal emphasis on concrete proposals for a reorientation of the i2010 initiative for the 2008-10 period. The aim is to promote competitiveness in the more advanced countries whilst at the same time closing the gaps between Member States. More specifically, the Commission wants to kickstart joint technology initiatives to encourage ICT research. 2008 will see the publication of a guide to the rights and obligations of the users of digital technology in the EU in order to promote use of new on?line technology and lessen the digital divide between Member States. The Commission also plans to develop pan?European public services such as the electronic identity or electronic signature initiatives.

Communication of 30 March 2007 from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: i2010 – Annual Information Society Report 2007 [COM(2007) 146 final – not published in the Official Journal].

In this second report the Commission sets out a number of recommendations and actions for 2007 and 2008 including:

  • a review of the regulatory framework for electronic communications;
  • continuing the policy of innovation in ICT with the Joint Technology Initiatives, EU standardisation policy and the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP);
  • inclusion, the ongoing improvement of public services and quality of life (e?accessibility, digital literacy, eGovernment, intelligent car, energy efficiency).

In preparation for a mid-term review in 2008, the report outlines a set of preparatory measures:

  • identifying future trends, in particular in through the options offered by the new internet, in cooperation with the i2010 High Level Group;
  • launching a public consultation involving all stakeholders;
  • addressing the main issues for the mid-term review at a high level i2010 event in 2008.

The outcome of these discussions will be fed into the 2008 European Spring Council, which is to address the issues relating to the next generation internet.


Another Normative about i2010: Information Society and the media working towards growth and jobs

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Employment and social policy > Job creation measures

i2010: Information Society and the media working towards growth and jobs

i2010 is the European Commission’s new strategic framework laying out broad policy guidelines for the information society and the media. The purpose of this new, integrated policy is to encourage knowledge and innovation with a view to boosting growth and creating more better-quality jobs. It forms part of the revised Lisbon Strategy.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 1 June 2005 to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled “i2010 – A European Information Society for growth and employment” [COM(2005) 229 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Through i2010 the Commission is taking an integrated approach to the information society and to audio-visual media policies in the European Union. It aims to coordinate the actions undertaken by Member States to facilitate digital convergence and to respond to the challenges associated with the information society. In developing this strategy, the Commission has drawn on wide stakeholder consultation concerning previous initiatives and instruments such as and the Communication on the eEurope and the Communication on the future of European regulatory audio-visual policy.

The Commission proposes three priorities for Europe’s information society and media policy to be achieved by 2010: creating a Single European Information Space; promoting innovation and investment in research into information and communication technologies (ICT); achieving an inclusive European information and media society.

A Single European Information Space

In order to foster an open and competitive internal market for the information society and the media, the first objective of i2010 is to establish a Single European Information Space offering affordable and secure high-bandwidth communications, rich and diverse content and digital services. The Commission aims to achieve four main objectives:

  • to increase the speed of broadband services in Europe;
  • to encourage new services and on-line content;
  • to promote devices and platforms that “talk to one another”; and
  • to make the Internet safer from fraudsters, harmful content and technology failures.

In order to create the Single European Information Space the Commission intends to:

  • review the regulatory framework for electronic communications; this includes defining a strategy for efficient spectrum management;
  • create a consistent internal market framework for information society and media services by:
    • modernising the legal framework for audio-visual services, starting by revising the Television Without Frontiers Directive (2005);
    • making any necessary adaptations to the Community acquis affecting information society and media services (2007);
    • promoting fast and efficient implementation of the existing and updated acquis.
  • continue to support the creation and circulation of European content such as the eLearning and eContentplus programmes and their successors;
  • define and implement a strategy for a secure European Information Society, mainly by raising awareness of the need for self-protection, being vigilant and monitoring threats, and responding rapidly and effectively to attacks and system failures;
  • identify and promote targeted actions on interoperability, particularly digital rights management.

Innovation and investment in research

In order to boost innovation and investment into ICT research, the Commission wants to encourage world-class performance in research and innovation in ICT by closing the gap with Europe’s leading competitors by:

  • increasing Community ICT research support by 80% by 2010 and inviting Member States to do the same;
  • prioritising the key technology pillars of the 7th Framework Programme for research and technological development (FPRD), such as technologies for knowledge, content and creativity, advanced and open communication networks, secure and dependable software, embedded systems and nanoelectronics;
  • launching research and deployment initiatives to overcome key bottlenecks such as interoperability, security and reliability, and the management of identity and rights, which require both technological and organisational solutions;
  • defining complementary measures to encourage private investment in ICT research and innovation (2006);
  • making specific proposals on an “information society for all” in the Community Strategic Guidelines on Cohesion for the period 2007-13;
  • defining e-commerce policies aimed at removing technological, organisational and legal barriers to ICT adoption with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • developing tools to support new patterns of work that enhance innovation in enterprises and adaptation to new skill needs.

Inclusion, better public services and quality of life

The Commission wishes to boost social, economic and territorial cohesion by establishing an inclusive European information society. It intends to promote growth and jobs in a manner that is consistent with sustainable development and that prioritises better public services and quality of life. To achieve its aim of an inclusive information society, offering high-quality public services and improving quality of life, the Commission plans to:

  • issue policy guidance on e-accessibility and broadband coverage to make ICT systems easier to use for a larger number of people (2005);
  • propose a European initiative on e-inclusion, addressing issues such as equal opportunities, ICT skills and regional divides (2008);
  • adopt an Action Plan on eGovernment as well as strategic guidelines to encourage the public services to use ICTs. It will launch demo projects to test, at an operational scale, technological, legal and organisational solutions to bringing public services on-line;
  • launch three flagship ICT initiatives to improve quality of life: caring for people in an ageing society, safer and cleaner transport (and, in particular, the “intelligent car”) and digital libraries to encourage cultural diversity.

Governance

The Commission intends to develop proposals to update the regulatory frameworks for electronic communications, and information society and media services. It also proposes using the Community’s financial instruments to stimulate investment in strategic research and to overcome bottlenecks obstructing ICT innovation. Lastly, it aims to support policies to address inclusion and quality of life.

Member States, through the National Reform Programmes, have committed themselves to adopting information society priorities in line with the Integrated Guidelines for growth and jobs by mid?October 2005. They aim to:

  • ensure rapid and thorough transposition of the new regulatory frameworks affecting digital convergence with an emphasis on open and competitive markets;
  • increase the share of ICT research in national spending to develop modern, interoperable ICT-enabled public services;
  • use investment to encourage innovation in the ICT sector;
  • adopt ambitious targets for developing the information society at national level.

Member States have reported on their achievements within the framework defined by the review of the Lisbon Strategy.

The Commission will also ask other stakeholders to take part in dialogue in support of developing the information society. The Commission will target industrial partners in particular to encourage them to raise investments in research and new technologies in this field.

To ensure that all stakeholders are involved, the Commission proposes using the open method of communication, which includes an exchange of good practices and annual implementation reports in respect of the Lisbon objectives.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Europe’s Digital Competitiveness Report: main achievements of the i2010 strategy 2005-2009 [COM(2009) 390 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

This Communication reports on the i2010 strategy implemented between 2005 and 2009. It concludes that ICT action during the last four years has modernised Europe both from an economic and a social point of view, and has contributed to the following results:

  • the number of Europeans online has increased dramatically, particularly with regard to disadvantaged groups;
  • Europe is now the world leader in broadband internet;
  • broadband connections have increased;
  • Europe is in first place with regard to mobile phones;
  • supply and use of online services has increased sharply;
  • progress has been made in the ICT sector in micro-electronics, nano-electronics, health care and road safety;
  • ICT policies have gradually been mainstreamed.

Nevertheless, the European Union still lags behind in the area of technological research and development if its results are compared with those of the United States, Japan or South Korea. In order to maintain its competitiveness, it is therefore important that Europe equips itself with a new digital agenda. To this end, the Commission has planned to launch an online public consultation on some key areas for the EU’s future ICT and media policies.

Communication of 17 April 2008 from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Preparing Europe’s digital future – i2010 Mid-Term Review [COM(2008) 199 final – not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission notes the strong growth of broadband in Europe.Over half of all European (250 million people) use the internet on a regular basis. Nearly 40 million new users were registered in 2007. Public services, including 96% of Europe’s schools and 57% of its doctors, are using broadband connections more and more. 77% of all businesses had a broadband connection. Broadband is becoming the standard mode of connectivity.
Apart from noting the strong growth in broadband use across the EU, however, the report puts equal emphasis on concrete proposals for a reorientation of the i2010 initiative for the 2008-10 period. The aim is to promote competitiveness in the more advanced countries whilst at the same time closing the gaps between Member States. More specifically, the Commission wants to kickstart joint technology initiatives to encourage ICT research. 2008 will see the publication of a guide to the rights and obligations of the users of digital technology in the EU in order to promote use of new on?line technology and lessen the digital divide between Member States. The Commission also plans to develop pan?European public services such as the electronic identity or electronic signature initiatives.

Communication of 30 March 2007 from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: i2010 – Annual Information Society Report 2007 [COM(2007) 146 final – not published in the Official Journal].

In this second report the Commission sets out a number of recommendations and actions for 2007 and 2008 including:

  • a review of the regulatory framework for electronic communications;
  • continuing the policy of innovation in ICT with the Joint Technology Initiatives, EU standardisation policy and the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP);
  • inclusion, the ongoing improvement of public services and quality of life (e?accessibility, digital literacy, eGovernment, intelligent car, energy efficiency).

In preparation for a mid-term review in 2008, the report outlines a set of preparatory measures:

  • identifying future trends, in particular in through the options offered by the new internet, in cooperation with the i2010 High Level Group;
  • launching a public consultation involving all stakeholders;
  • addressing the main issues for the mid-term review at a high level i2010 event in 2008.

The outcome of these discussions will be fed into the 2008 European Spring Council, which is to address the issues relating to the next generation internet.