Employment policy guidelines

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EESC opinion: Employment policy guidelines

Key points

The Committee:

  • reiterates its deep concern that neither the employment nor the anti-poverty goals of the EU 2020 strategy can be met;
  • calls for a European stimulus package with a comprehensive impact on labour market policy, amounting to 2% of GDP; additional national investments must be implemented and European investment projects must be identified in a speedy, targeted and coordinated manner to boost employment;
  • insists that all relevant stakeholders, including the Committee itself, be given sufficient time between the publishing of the next proposal and the deadline for adopting the decision to conduct a thorough debate on the proposal; this is particularly important as regards the new set of guidelines to be adopted in 2014;

  • finds that general European employment targets should be supplemented by targets for specific groups;
  • wants the Youth Guarantee to take effect as early as possible, i.e. ideally when registering at a job centre;
  • calls for a specific Youth Solidarity Fund for countries in particular difficulties to be established, if ESF funds are not sufficient; quality standards for first work experience and on-the-job training should be promoted;
  • wants the dual system of apprenticeships to be explored, with a view to broader application;

  • finds that recognition of the role of companies and especially SMEs in job creation should be improved;

  • sees a need to strengthen the role of labour market institutions in national reform programmes;
  • finds that countries with fraught labour market conditions should have easier access to EU funding; European funding must be sufficient, and this should be taken fully into consideration in the Multiannual Financial Framework.