EESC opinion: Employment Guidelines

Key points

  • The Committee has welcomed the new integrated approach in numerous opinions, and pointed out that national parliaments, the social partners and civil society must be genuinely consulted and involved in all stages of employment policy coordination;
  • has expressed its concern that, in the last few years, the level of consultation with the social partners and debate with civil society has not been satisfactory;
  • regrets once again that the extremely tight timetable between the publication of the proposal and the decision itself does not allow sufficient time for in-depth discussion and consultation;
  • reserves the right to revisit the strategy in the light of the 2008 Spring Summit; 
  • has made numerous proposals concerning the previous set of Employment Guidelines within the European Employment Strategy; in autumn 2007 a compilation of these was sent to, and was well-received, by the relevant Commission services. Although the guidelines have by no means lost their basic validity the Committee notes that the new set of employment guidelines is identical to the previous package; the accompanying text, however, has been slightly updated and a few of the Committee proposals are reflected in the text;
  • suggests that the Commission produces an annex with a list of all quantifiable targets in the guidelines as a matter of standard procedure in order to make them more transparent;
  • reiterates its main views on certain aspects that need to be accounted for in the decision, arising from a general need to adapt the Employment Guidelines.