In this opinion, the EESC notes that a substantial part of the population is still neither working nor included in unemployment statistics, yet carries significant potential for employment and wealth creation. Therefore, it issues a series of recommendations. The Commitee:
- urges the Commission and the Member States to place a strategy for dealing with the significant number of economically inactive people.
- believes that the Commission and the Member States must also focus their efforts on reactivation policies and policies to create job opportunities for all, in particular those who are most excluded from the labour market and who want and are able to work.
- recommends that the Commission assess the progress made since the last strategy of 2008 and, if needed, adopt a new, comprehensive strategy, accompanied by action plans and objectives assigned to the Member States for each sub-group of economically inactive people.
- recommends that the European Commission encourage Member States to make their active labour market policies more effective and to ensure that their public employment services are able to provide more targeted assistance for inactive people.
- believes that concerted efforts are needed in order to boost employment opportunities for disabled people; it urges the EU Member States to establish an employment quota system for persons with disabilities.
- recommends that Member States create specific activities, if necessary within local public services to upgrade and update the skills and competences of the economically inactive population.
- urges the Commission and the Member States to create specific and favourable incentives for companies to employ economically inactive people.
- proposes reducing the number of weekly working hours, starting with public services.