In the context of its work on the revision of the EU Blue Card Directive, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has organised a public hearing on Thursday, 8 September 2016. The aim was to identify the elements of an EU strategy for attracting skilled workers and to discuss how the EU Blue Card should be revised.
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The organisation and provision of long-term care (LTC) is a challenge many Member States are facing. The sector is low paid, highly feminised and employs often undocumented migrant workers. It suffers from workforce imbalances and skills shortages. Situations of undeclared work and poor working conditions affect mainly "live-in" care workers. Proactive measures to encourage the creation of quality, well-paid jobs in the sector with decent working conditions are needed to ensure an adequate labour supply for the LTC sector. The public hearing - which will contribute to the opinion on the subject - will elaborate on the human and social rights of "live-in" care workers in the context of labour supply and mobility issues. It will explore these issues in the interplay of labour and migration policies.
The digital revolution is bringing about changes in modes of production and patterns of consumption, in how we understand the world, in how we govern, and even in how we live together in society. The digital economy is, however, a double-edged sword. It presents risks as well as opportunities, and chances for inclusion as well as exclusion; it provides new prospects for growth within our territory, for us as well as for international players preying on our markets.Concrete action is needed to tip the scales on the positive side.
The Labour Market Observatory (LMO) addressed the topic of labour migration in its 42nd meeting which took place on 18 April 2016. Discussions focused on the outcomes of the European Migration Forum of 6-7 April 2016 and on Commission's and EESC's work on legal migration, including the revision of the Blue Card Directive. The discussions were very useful in the context of the preparation of the SOC/539 opinion on a Coherent labour migration.
The Dutch Presidency has requested an exploratory opinion about the shift from the traditional employment relationship to more non-standard forms of employment, introduced among others by online platforms like Uber. The EESC is to examine the link between new forms of employments relationships to a decent living wage and make policy recommendations as to how to take full advantage of digital innovation but regulate and mitigate the effects in terms of labour law protection and social protection.
The Labour Market Observatory (LMO) of the European Economic and Social Committee organised a public seminar on “Integrating refugees into the labour market: turning the crisis into an opportunity” on Monday, 22 February 2016 from 2:30 to 6 p.m. at the EESC in Brussels.
This event was organised by the LMO and IMI together with the European Commission, in the context of the revision of the Blue Card directive.
The EU Blue Card Directive was adopted in 2009 to facilitate the admission and mobility of highly qualified migrants and their family members. Evaluations of the Blue Card's implementation identified a number of issues that may negatively affect the effectiveness of the Blue Card and hamper the attractiveness of the EU in the global competition for highly skilled workers. Therefore, the European Commission intends to present a proposal for a revised Directive in March 2016, as part of a wider package of measures on migration.
On 19 November 2015, Cedefop, Eurofound and the EESC will hold a joint event to present recent findings and initiatives on work organisation and workplace learning. The event will mark the 40th anniversary of Cedefop and Eurofound, EU agencies with a governing structure of employers, trade unions and governments. It will also be an occasion to recognise the EESC’s support in setting up the Agencies as well as its strong tripartite role in EU policymaking.
The conference will focus on the employment of refugees and other beneficiaries of international protection. Having a job will ease social integration, diminish reliance on social benefits and increase the possibility to find decent housing. Employed refugees will contribute to the social security system and their increased spending on consumer goods will be beneficial to the economy as a whole. Over time, this can help European countries to address demographic decline, ageing populations and shortages on the labour market, which will benefit both the refugees' concerned and the host societies.