Tag Archives: Social agenda

2008 Report on Industrial Relations in Europe

2008 Report on Industrial Relations in Europe

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about 2008 Report on Industrial Relations in Europe

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Employment and social policy > Social dialogue and employee participation

2008 Report on Industrial Relations in Europe

Document or Iniciative

Report of the European Commission Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities – Industrial Relations in Europe 2008 [Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The diversity of national social dialogue mechanisms has increased with the enlargement of the European Union (EU). These particularities depend notably on the nature of the social partner organisations, on their autonomy in relation to the State and the role of tripartite agreements.

At European level industrial relations developed in parallel with the emergence of European social policy and through the gradual inclusion of European social partners (ETUC, BUSINESSEUROPE, UEAPME and CEEP) in the legislative process.
Collective bargaining and wage setting remains within national jurisdiction. However, European coordination of non-wage bargaining is on the increase, as is the conclusion of European autonomous agreements and transnational bargaining.

Implementation in European social dialogue is based on agreements reached through the Council Directive or on European autonomous agreements. The growing autonomy of social partners implies their involvement in implementing and monitoring these agreements. Other types of text may serve as frameworks of actions, such as recommendations and guidelines, which are implemented on a voluntary basis.
The participation of social partners in the renewed Lisbon Strategy is essential at all levels of policy decision-making. National social partners are actively involved in concluding pacts with governments and in implementing Community programmes and policies. European social partners support the Lisbon objectives through their 2006-2008 work programme. They have negotiated several European framework agreements, as well as joint opinions and frameworks of action.

The contribution of social partners is essential in implementing the Lisbon Strategy and the principles of flexicurity, considering their capacity for autonomous action and their areas of expertise, such as:

  • active labour market policy and social security reforms;
  • training and employment of young people;
  • lifelong learning and older workers;
  • working hours and flexibility;
  • the reconciliation of work and family;
  • working conditions.

The development of European social dialogue between 2006 and 2008 was based on the results of a joint analysis of the labour market by cross-industry actors. This enabled a consensus to be reached at the European Council in December 2007 on common principles of flexicurity.

Social partners have continued their autonomous actions, most notably with the conclusion of a framework agreement on harassment and violence at work. Other autonomous agreements are currently under negotiation regarding parental leave, inclusion in the labour market and maritime labour standards. Guidelines on promoting gender equality, cross-border mobility and health and safety at work have been adopted under the framework of the sectoral social dialogue. Social partners have also engaged in dialogue in the sectors of professional football and contract catering.

With regard to legislative progress between 2006and 2008, the Council has reached political agreement to revise the Working Time Directive and the Directive on temporary agency work. The Commission presented a Proposal on European Works Councils (EWCs) intended to improve the effectiveness of employees’ transnational information and consultation rights and their legal certainty. The implementation of some legislative provisions was re-examined, such as the posting of workers Directive (followed by recommendations on cooperation between national administrations), the Directives on transfers of undertakings, the Directive on fixed-term work and the Directive on employer’s insolvency. In 2006 discussions were initiated by the Green Paper on Modernisation of Labour Law. In addition, a new 2007-2013 strategy on health and safety at work was launched.

Building social partner capacity is required in order to contribute towards good working conditions, competitiveness and social cohesion. The 2007-2013 European Social Fund (ESF) Programme provides direct financial support for building partner capacity. The fund also supports joint projects developed by social partners in the areas of lifelong learning and labour-market modernisation. Specific effort has been made in the new EU Member States and in the western Balkans.

The Social Policy Agenda

The Social Policy Agenda

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The Social Policy Agenda

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Employment and social policy > Priorities and objectives: the social agenda

The Social Policy Agenda (2006-2010)

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission. The Social Agenda [COM(2005) 33 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This communication identifies the priorities that should guide the European Union’s action in the development of the European social model. It is also intended to promote social cohesion as part both of the Lisbon strategy and the Sustainable Development Strategy. This review of the Agenda has a key role in promoting the social dimension of economic growth and improving the implementation of the measures foreseen by the old Social Agenda (2000-2005).

The added value of the Social Agenda is beyond doubt because it facilitates the modernisation of national systems against a background of far-reaching economic and social changes. It supports the harmonious operation of the single market while ensuring respect for fundamental rights and common values.

The Agenda develops a two-pronged strategy: Firstly, it emphasises its role in strengthening citizens’ confidence; secondly, it presents key measures under two major headings, namely employment and equal opportunities and inclusion.

STRENGTHENING CITIZENS’ CONFIDENCE

The measures proposed are designed to enable citizens to gain confidence in their own ability to effectively manage change, viz.: increased competition in a global context, technological development and population ageing.

In this context, the Agenda presents several key conditions:

  • an intergenerational approach;
  • a partnership for change;
  • integration of the external dimension

An intergenerational approach

The changes brought about by the demographic development – notably the ageing of the European populations – the need to adapt systems of social protection and pensions to these changes, the need to improve the integration of young people and to address the whole question of migration are major challenges.

To this end, the Commission plans to analyse future challenges and proposes a series of measures to analyse the demographic changes of European populations.

A partnership for change

Given that the partnership between the authorities, the social partners and civil society is one of the keys to the success of European policies, the Commission will propose the organisation of an annual meeting of all players concerned in a forum. The aim of this meeting will be to evaluate the implementation of the Agenda on a regular basis.

Integration of the external dimension

The Commission also plans to incorporate the European social model into external dialogue and measures at bilateral, regional and multilateral level

THE TWO PRIORITY AREAS

The two priority areas concerning the strategic objectives of the new Agenda are:

  • employment, under the prosperity objective;
  • equal opportunities and inclusion, under the solidarity objective.

Achieving full employment

In order to attain the Lisbon growth and jobs objectives, the Commission has proposed a revamped cycle of the European Employment Strategy (EES) in the framework of the mid-term review of the Lisbon strategy. This new cycle should underpin long-term economic growth, combat unemployment and regional disparities and promote social cohesion.

To ensure that the European Social Fund fosters convergence, employment and competitiveness, the Commission plans to put forward several measures, notably a measure to sensitise the ESF players in 2006 and a communication campaign among parliaments and players concerned in 2006-2007.

The Commission also proposes developing a strategy for anticipating, triggering and managing economic change more effectively. This strategy is developed around four themes:

  • greater interplay between European policies;
  • greater involvement of the social partners;
  • greater synergy between policies and their financial levers, especially the ESF;
  • a stronger link between the EES and the development of the legal frameworks and social partners’ agreements.

In this new Agenda, the Commission also introduces a new dynamic for industrial relations and provides for several initiatives concerning the development of labour law, health and safety at work and corporate social responsibility

The Commission considers that the creation of a genuine European labour market is essential. This objective implies both removing the remaining direct and indirect barriers and, besides, drawing up policies that create the conditions for the players concerned to derive maximum benefit from the European area.

With a view to giving the social partners a basis for increasing their capacity to act at transnational level, the Commission plans to adopt a proposal designed to make it possible for the social partners to formalise the nature and results of transnational collective bargaining in an optimal way.

Equal opportunities and inclusion

The EU has been a driving force in implementing the principle of equal treatment. As the current framework strategy 2000-2005 comes to an end, the Commission plans to propose several actions to resolve such problems as the gender pay gap, women’s access to and participation in the labour market, training, career advancement, reconciliation of family and working life, equal opportunities for the disabled, etc.

The Commission also plans to organise a European year of equal opportunities in 2007 with a view to highlighting the results achieved and showing the advantages of diversity for the economy and society of Europe.

The renewed social agenda

The renewed social agenda

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The renewed social agenda

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Employment and social policy > Priorities and objectives: the social agenda

The renewed social agenda

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 2 July 2008 – Renewed social agenda: Opportunities, access and solidarity in 21st century Europe COM(2008) 412 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication establishes the priorities which should direct European social policy for the period 2008-2010. The renewed social agenda is based upon the results of the Lisbon Strategy with regard to economic stability and employment. Furthermore, so as to better respond to the socio-economic challenges of the XXIst century, its scope is extended to new areas of policy action structured around three goals:

  • creating new opportunities in the employment market;
  • facilitating access to education, social protection, health care and quality services for all;
  • developing solidarity at the heart of European society, so to foster social inclusion and equal opportunities for all.


These goals will be achieved, at Community level, through the implementation of legislation, appropriate financing and the cooperation of Member States. The Commission supports the renewal of the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) in the area of youth and the reinforcement of the OMC in the areas of social protection and social inclusion as well as the development of social dialogue, civil dialogue and active European citizenship.

PRIORITY AREAS FOR ACTION

Children and youth

Quality education systems adapted to the needs of the employment market should contribute to the inclusion of young people in society. New initiatives from the Commission should, in particular, target the protection of the rights of the child and the fight against child poverty.

More and better jobs and the enhancement of skills

In line with the Lisbon Strategy and the European Sustainable Development Strategy, the social agenda encourages the modernisation of employment markets. To this end, Member States should apply common principles relating to flexicurity and promoting lifelong education and training.

In particular the Commission proposes to improve the functioning of European Works Councils. The Commission announces a new initiative for the assessment of labour market and skills needs up to 2020. It also promotes entrepreneurship and the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

Mobility

The Commission should pursue actions promoting the free movement of workers, the protection of their social rights and their working conditions, as well as the total suppression of obstacles to their free movement within the European Union (EU). Social partners must take an active part in achieving the objectives of the European Job Mobility Action Plan.

The Commission proposes action in favour of the mobility of knowledge, notably with the aim of facilitating the mobility of researchers, young entrepreneurs, students and volunteers.

Improving the quality of life and the inclusion of the elderly

In the context of an ageing European society, Member States should be able to ensure quality, viable and accessible health systems. The Commission proposes, in particular, the development of patients’ rights to cross-border health care. It supports the development of ICTs in the field of health care, personal services and research.

The fight against poverty and social exclusion

The social agenda anticipates an integrated strategy of active inclusion of the most disadvantaged such as the unemployed, the handicapped, the elderly and women. It aims at encouraging income support, access to employment and services, the information society, education and training.

The fight against discrimination

The Commission pursues the reinforcing of the legal framework with regard to the fight against discrimination both within and outside the field of employment. Community policies specifically target equal treatment between men and women, notably through the promotion of access by women to the labour market and equal pay between men and women.

The promotion of social rights at worldwide level

The EU plays a role at international level in promoting high social standards protecting workers, consumers and the environment. The action is carried out within the framework of external cooperation agreements, trade policies, development assistance and EU accession negotiations. The Commission also encourages Member States to apply the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

CONTEXT

In 2007 the Commission launched a public consultation in order to take stock of social reality in Europe. The renewed social agenda takes into account the global economic slowdown, the ageing population and the latest technological progress.

The goals and measures in the social agenda will be reviewed in 2010 together with the Lisbon Strategy.

Priorities and objectives: the social agenda

Priorities and objectives: the social agenda

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Priorities and objectives: the social agenda

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Employment and social policy > Priorities and objectives: the social agenda

Priorities and objectives: the social agenda

The aim of the European Unions social policy is to promote employment, the improvement of living and working conditions, an appropriate level of social protection, dialogue with the social partners, development of human resources so as to ensure a high and sustainable employment level, and measures to combat exclusion. The new Social Agenda for the period 2006 2010 is set in the context of the relaunching of the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs. It responds to the European objectives of solidarity and prosperity through fundamental priorities: employment, and action to tackle poverty and promote equal opportunities.

THE SOCIAL AGENDA

  • The renewed social agenda
  • The Social Policy Agenda (2006-2010)
  • Agenda for social policy (2000-2005)
  • Mid-term review of the Social Policy Agenda
  • Scoreboard on implementing the 2004 social policy agenda

PRIORITIES AND OBJECTIVES

  • Towards a new social vision for 21st century Europe
  • European Globalisation Adjustment Fund
  • European values in a globalised world

European values in a globalised world

European values in a globalised world

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European values in a globalised world

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Employment and social policy > Priorities and objectives: the social agenda

European values in a globalised world

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, of 20 October 2005, “European values in the globalised world – Contribution of the Commission to the October Meeting of Heads of State and Government” [COM(2005) 525 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Europe has historically had a high level of prosperity, social cohesion, environmental protection and quality of life based on the common values of solidarity and justice. Today, however, exclusion is a reality in Europe: the unemployment rate remains high (19 million unemployed in the EU), growth is slowing, and child poverty and inequality are on the increase.

Consequently, if Europe does not succeed in meeting the new challenges posed by new technologies, mobility, an ageing population and global competition, there is a risk that a socioeconomic duality that is both inclusive and exclusive will emerge on a long-term basis. This would also increase the gap between Europe and the rest of the world.

Hence the need to modernise and reform our social systems, a need symbolised by the process of reform begun in Lisbon in March 2000.

“Unity in diversity”: the reality of European social models

The EU’s Member States have developed their own socioeconomic models, reflecting their history and their collective choices. Each of these national models is underpinned by European characteristics:

  • common elements such as public pensions, health and long-term care, social protection, labour market regulation and redistribution through tax policies;
  • shared values such as solidarity and cohesion, equal opportunities and the fight against all forms of discrimination, health and safety in the workplace, universal access to education and healthcare, quality of life and quality in work, sustainable development and the involvement of civil society;
  • role of the public sector in the organisation and financing of national systems, much more so than in America or Asia;
  • a strong “European dimension” reinforcing national systems;
  • a tradition of social dialogue and partnership between governments, industry and trade unions.

However, besides these points which Member States have in common, the Commission underlines the significance of disparities within the EU. For example, Lithuania, Latvia and Ireland spend 14 to 15% of GDP on social protection systems, while France and Sweden spend 30%. In addition, the level of public pensions may be twice as high in one country as in another, varying from between 31 and 37% of average earnings in Ireland, the UK and Belgium to over 70% in Austria, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain. It seems, therefore, that no Member State has yet found all the answers, despite the relative convergence in their approaches.

Findings and challenges: completing the transformation

The social reality in Europe today includes the challenges of unemployment, globalisation and population ageing.

The number one social problem is without doubt the persistent unemployment in the EU: 19 million people including mainly young people, women, migrants and older workers (aged 55 to 64).

In addition, weaknesses in education, research, innovation and productivity are holding back labour markets and economic performance in some Member States. The barriers to entry and exit on the job market are too high. Finally, the gap between the rich and the poor in the EU, both within Member States and between them, is considerable and is still widening.

Today, globalisation is no longer a choice but a reality. The emergence of new economic giants such as China and India puts the European economy to the test more than ever, in terms of trade, investment, technology, energy and production costs. Although knowledge and technology are important in Europe, the lack of qualified staff undermines the productivity of European companies.

The ageing of the European population is a reality in the Europe of the future. Based on current trends, the EU population will be both smaller and older due to low birth rates. According to statistics, by 2050 there will be 48 million fewer 15-64 year olds and 58 million more people over 65. The repercussions for Europe are considerable.

The reduction in the workforce will slow down growth (from 2 to 2.5% today it could fall to just 1.25% by 2040). Slower growth will come at a time when the costs of an ageing population start to peak (an increase varying between 4 and 8% of GDP across Member States). The sustainability of public finances is therefore at risk. Life expectancy will continue to increase, however, and in 45 years it will have risen to 81 for men and 86 for women.

Finally, while migration to the Union does not on its own provide a long-term solution, the Member States and the EU institutions have already adopted other measures. At national level, several countries have undertaken significant reforms of pension systems and of early retirement arrangements. At EU level, macroeconomic policies offer Member States a path towards stability and sound public finances. The reforms agreed within the Lisbon Agenda should also provide solutions.

While many reforms have already been undertaken in some Member States, Europe can no longer afford to wait. It is extremely well placed to help this transformation, with its economic and monetary stability, its scale (the largest trading block in the world), its financial resources (EU funding and programmes) and its external instruments (enlargement and development policies).

Responding to the challenges

While the Member States are more involved in social policy, the EU has an important part to play in the process of modernisation. The Europe of 25 Member States, with shared values and strong institutions acting together, may in fact be better equipped to deal with globalisation. Moreover, the European Union has a unique set of instruments at its disposal: in addition to its legislative, executive and judicial powers, it acts as a catalyst for new ideas and reform.

The Commission therefore recommends action based on:

  • greater coherence and coordination both between the different decision makers and between economic and social policies;
  • economic, labour market and social modernisation;
  • strengthening social justice by means of economic and labour market reforms;
  • greater coordination between the different levels of power (European, national, sub-national).

Various initiatives should be taken at European level:

  • completion of the internal market, including for services, telecoms, energy, and financial services;
  • delivery of more open and fairer markets;
  • promotion of enterprise;
  • improvement of the regulatory environment at EU level;
  • opening of third-country markets for European producers;
  • adoption of an agreement on the Financial Perspectives by the end of the year and on the principle of a new Globalisation Adjustment Fund;
  • ensuring the proper functioning of EMU as a key precondition to creating growth and jobs;
  • improving European economic governance and strengthening the coordination of economic and social policies.

Four objectives were set at national level:

  • to implement the agreed structural reforms and policies within the renewed Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs;
  • to raise employment rates and reduce unemployment;
  • to adapt pension, health and long-term care to meet changing needs;
  • to offer innovative solutions for the low paid.

Finally, the EU in partnership with the Member States must:

  • create an environment that champions innovation;
  • spell out a long-term and coherent energy policy;
  • direct more resources (both public and private) to education, training and skills;
  • promote a renewal of the social dialogue;
  • support efforts to deal with the social consequences of economic restructuring;
  • increase cooperation between Member States.

The Commission’s message is therefore clear. In order to preserve our values, we must modernise and we must do it together.

Background

This Communication is part of the mid-term review of the Lisbon Strategy, one of the main objectives of which is the reform of social systems. In this field, one of its aims is to create more and better jobs through work incentives, the modernisation of social protection systems, increasing the adaptability of workers and enterprises and improving education and training.

 

Community programme for employment and solidarity – PROGRESS

Community programme for employment and solidarity – PROGRESS

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Community programme for employment and solidarity – PROGRESS

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Anti-discrimination and relations with civil society

Community programme for employment and solidarity – PROGRESS (2007-2013)

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 1672/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 establishing a Community Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity — PROGRESS [Official Journal L 315 of 15.11.2006] [See amending act(s)].

Summary

Up to now, Community activities in the fields of employment, social inclusion and protection, promoting gender equality and the principle of non-discrimination have been supported by separate action programmes.

With a view to improving coherence and efficiency, the European Commission has proposed to group these subjects together in a single framework programme known as PROGRESS.

GENERAL OBJECTIVES

The programme has six objectives:

  • to improve knowledge and understanding of the social situation of the Member States through analysis, evaluation and close monitoring of policies;
  • to support the development of statistical tools and methods and common indicators;
  • to support and monitor the implementation of legislation and policy objectives;
  • to promote networking, mutual learning, and the identification and dissemination of good practice at EU level;
  • to make stakeholders and the general public aware of European Union (EU) policies in the fields of employment, social protection and inclusion, working conditions, diversity and non-discrimination, and equality between men and women;
  • to boost the capacity of the key EU networks to promote and support EU policies.

STRUCTURE: FIELDS OF ACTIVITY AND TYPES OF ACTION

The programme is divided into the following five sections:

  • employment;
  • social protection and inclusion;
  • working conditions;
  • diversity and combating discrimination;
  • equality between women and men.

The programme will finance the following types of action:

  • analyses;
  • mutual learning, awareness-raising and dissemination activities;
  • support for the main players; i.e. contributing to the operating costs of the main networks in the Union, the formation of working groups, funding training seminars, creating networks of specialist bodies and observatories at EU level, staff exchanges between national administrations and cooperation with international institutions.

The programme has a list of operational objectives for each of the sections.

Employment

The objective of this section is to support implementation of the European Employment Strategy by:

  • improving understanding of the employment situation, in particular through analyses and studies and the development of statistics and indicators;
  • monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the European Employment Guidelines and Recommendations and analysing the interaction between the EES and other policy areas;
  • organising exchanges on policies and processes and promoting mutual learning in the context of the EES;
  • reinforcing awareness-raising, disseminating information and promoting debate, in particular among regional and local players and the social partners.

Social protection and inclusion

This section will support the implementation of the Open Method of Coordination in the field of social protection and inclusion by:

  • improving understanding of poverty issues and social protection and inclusion policies, in particular through analyses and studies and the development of statistics and indicators;
  • monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the Open Method of Coordination in the field of social protection and inclusion and analysing the interaction between this method and other policy areas;
  • organising exchanges on policies and processes and promoting mutual learning in the context of the social protection and inclusion strategy;
  • raising awareness, disseminating information and promoting debate, in particular among NGOs and regional and local players;
  • developing the ability of the main EU networks (e.g. of national experts or NGOs) to pursue the EU’s policy objectives.

Working conditions

This section will support the improvement of the working environment and conditions, including health and safety at work, by:

  • improving the understanding of the situation in relation to working conditions, in particular through analyses and studies and the development of statistics and indicators, as well as assessing the impact of existing legislation, policies and practices;
  • supporting the implementation of EU labour law through reinforced monitoring, training of practitioners, development of guides and networking amongst specialised bodies;
  • initiating preventive actions and fostering the prevention culture in the field of health and safety at work;
  • raising awareness, disseminating information and promoting the debate about the main challenges and policy issues relating to working conditions.

Diversity and combating discrimination

This section will support the effective implementation of the principle of non-discrimination and promote its mainstreaming in EU policies by:

  • improving understanding of the discrimination situation, in particular through analyses and studies and the development of statistics and indicators, as well as assessing the impact of existing legislation, policies and practices;
  • supporting the implementation of EU anti-discrimination legislation through reinforced monitoring, training of practitioners and networking amongst specialised bodies dealing with combating discrimination;
  • raising awareness, disseminating information and promoting the debate about the main challenges and policy issues in relation to discrimination and the mainstreaming of anti-discrimination in EU policies;
  • developing the ability of the main EU networks (e.g. of national experts or NGOs) to pursue the Union’s policy objectives.

Gender equality

This section will support the effective implementation of the principle of gender equality and promote gender mainstreaming in EU policies by:

  • improving the understanding of the situation in relation to gender equality issues and gender mainstreaming, in particular through analyses and studies and the development of statistics and indicators, as well as assessing the impact of existing legislation, policies and practices;
  • supporting the implementation of EU gender equality legislation through reinforced monitoring, training of practitioners and networking amongst specialised equality bodies;
  • raising awareness, disseminating information and promoting debate about the main challenges and policy issues in relation to gender equality and gender mainstreaming;
  • developing the ability of the main EU networks (e.g. of national experts or NGOs) to pursue the Union’s policy objectives.

ACCESS TO THE PROGRAMME AND PARTICIPATION BY THIRD COUNTRIES

Access to this programme is open to all public and/or private bodies, players and institutions, in particular:

  • Member States;
  • public employment services;
  • local and regional authorities;
  • specialised bodies provided for under EU legislation;
  • the social partners;
  • non-governmental organisations organised at EU level;
  • universities and research institutes;
  • experts in evaluation;
  • the national statistical institutes;
  • the media.

The programme is also open to the EFTA/EEA countries, associated candidate countries and countries of the western Balkans participating in the stabilisation and association process.

TYPES OF ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE

Actions may be funded by:

  • a service contract following a call for tenders;
  • a partial subsidy following a call for proposals. In this case, the EU co-financing may not, as a general rule, exceed 80 % of the total expenditure incurred by the recipient.

FINANCING

The budget proposed is EUR 683 250 000 million for the period 2007-2013. The breakdown of funding between the different sections will comply with the following lower limits:

  • Employment 23 %
  • Social protection and inclusion 30 %
  • Working conditions 10 %
  • Diversity and combating discrimination 23 %
  • Gender equality 12 %.

The remaining 2 % will be used to cover programme management expenses.

A budget of EUR 60 million has been allocated to the new microfinance facility Progress for employment and social inclusion for the period 2007-2013.

SIMPLIFICATION

The proposed approach will contribute to the key objective of simplifying instruments, in both legal and management terms, and streamlining the budget structure.

In the implementation of the programme, the Commission will be assisted by a single Programme Committee, instead of four as previously.

MONITORING AND EVALUATION

The Commission will draw up annual activity reports and send them to the Programme Committee. The programme will also be subject to a mid-term evaluation. An ex-post evaluation covering the whole programme will be carried out, one year after it ends, by the Commission with the assistance of external experts, in order to measure the impact of the programme objectives and its EU added value.

BACKGROUND

In its 2004 communication on the new financial framework for 2007-2013, the Commission identified the implementation of the social policy agenda as an important tool contributing to the goal of competitiveness for growth and employment.

In order to achieve the Lisbon objectives, the social policy agenda is based on a combination of instruments, in particular legislation, the Open Method of Coordination, European social dialogue, and the European Social Fund and other financial instruments managed directly by the Commission.

PROGRESS responds to the Commission’s desire to simplify and rationalise the financial instruments in the area of employment and social policy.

References

Act Entry into force and expiry date Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 1672/2006/EC

1.1.2007 – 31.12.2013

OJ L315 of 15.11.2006

Amending Act(s) Entry into force date Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 284/2010/EU

8.4.2010

OJ L 87 of 7.4.2010

Related Acts


Decision 283/2010/UE of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 March 2010 establishing a European Progress Microfinance Facility for employment and social inclusion [Official Journal L 87 of 7.4.2010].
The new Progress microfinance facility shall finance:

  • the creation of businesses or self-employment by persons excluded from the labour market and persons who do not have access to the conventional credit market;
  • micro-enterprises who employ persons who are socially excluded.

This instrument is aimed at public and private bodies who offer microfinance to individuals or micro-enterprises.

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 3 June 2009 – “A Shared Commitment for Employment” [COM(2009) 257 final – Not published in the Official Journal].