On 5 March 2013 the Labour Market Observatory of the European Economic and Social Committee is organising a conference in Brussels on "Effective tools of active labour market policies during the crisis".
In the context of the current crisis, active labour market policies are very important and certainly worthy of being looked into by the LMO. These are measures that generally aim to improve the functioning of the labour market, notably by matching the unemployed or those with difficulties in the labour market to vacancies or jobs or by enhancing their employability with a view to future employment. The key principle is that employment is preferable to unemployment and that policies should endeavour to mobilise the unemployed to re-engage in work either directly or indirectly via upskilling and training, rather than treat them as passive recipients of state welfare. The successful labour market performance of countries that pioneered active labour market policies has been an important reference for their proponents. However, during the crisis job creation and active labour market policies were largely affected by austerity measures.
The purpose of the conference is to see which types of active labour market policies have proved efficient during the crisis. The conference will build on the results of a hearing held by the LMO in 2010 on the financing of active labour market policies and a background paper on the same subject elaborated at that occasion by Eurofound. National cases of application of active labour market policies will be presented.
European Economic and Social Committee, Meeting Room VM3, Rue Van Maerlant 2 - 1040 Brussels