The SOC Section deals with a broad range of policy areas including employment and working conditions, social policy and integration, gender equality, disability issues, education and training, health and justice and home affairs (including immigration). During the present term-of-office the SOC section is focusing on three strategic priorities, each with three sub-headings:
Better functioning labour markets
A good and productive working life
The potential of young people
Development of the internal market and free movement of labour
Management of the social crisis
Social security systems and the social impact of the crisis
Giving every child the best start in life
Healthy and active living
Europe for all
Proactive integration and immigration
Enhancing rights and opportunities 9. Active citizenship and volunteering
At the very beginning of the Cyprus Presidency the Committee assembly will discuss consultative opinions originating from the SOC section on the Commission’s White Paper on Pensions, the Youth Opportunities Initiative, the “Europe for Citizens” Programme, the Justice Programme, Proceeds of crime, the Asylum and Migration Fund/Internal Security Fund and Solidarity in the field of asylum. The Committee is also working on opinions on Posting of Workers and Collective action.
Moreover, the section is preparing own-initiative opinions on issues such as the Contribution of migrant entrepreneurs to economy, Articles 11.1 and 11.2 of the Lisbon Treaty (concerning the dialogue between the EU institutions and civil society), Vulnerable groups’ rights at the workplace (with a specific view to sexual orientation), Female entrepreneurs and the Potential of young people with high intellectual abilities. Over the years, the Committee has done an extensive work on the Roma and an own-initiative opinion is scheduled for adoption during the Cyprus presidency on the involvement of Roma organisations in implementing policies to promote Roma integration. Together with the European Commission the section will co-organise the eighth meeting of the European Integration Forum, with political input from the SOC section’s Permanent Study Group on Immigration and Integration. A coordination group under the SOC section will monitor and regularly organise hearings within the framework of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012. This group will also prepare an own-initiative opinion on Participation of older people in society.
Labour Market Observatory
The Labour Market Observatory (LMO) carries out extensive work on a wide range of labour market issues on the basis of the SOC section’s strategic priorities. The LMO will organise several events during the Cyprus Presidency, including one in Brusses on 6 November on inclusive labour markets.
Torben Bach Nielsen
Group II – Employees President of the SOC Section
T: +32 2 546 96 19
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