European Council : Road Map for a Revised Social Agenda

Article excerpt

The European Council, on 13 and 14 March in Brussels, endorsed the key messages submitted to it by the Councils of employment, education and competitiveness ministers, as well as the new guidelines for employment in 2008-2010.

The main challenge is to seek a "new revised social agenda" from the European Commission for the coming years, an initiative that strengthens the "social dimension of the Lisbon strategy in all its aspects, the realities of the labour market and social affairs, as well as youth, education, migration and demography, as well as intercultural dialogue". Combating poverty and social exclusion and increasing employment opportunities on the labour market are of "major importance". The 27 member states also highlighted the role played by economic immigration and asked the Commission to present a study on the skills that will be needed in Europe in 2020.

The member states decided to implement four urgent actions:

- reduce substantially the number of young people leaving school without qualifications and improve the skills levels of pupils born of immigrants

- involve more adults, in particular low-skilled and older workers, in education and training opportunities and facilitate occupational and geographical mobility

- promote an attractive labour market for all and combat segmentation, with the aim of active social inclusion

- improve coordination between social and economic policies. …