European Social Policy

Articles from October 10

Asylum : Only Six Member States Have Implemented Asylum Directive
By 10 October 2006, only six EU member states had notified the European Commission of implementing measures prior to the entry into force of new EU rules on the qualification and status of persons in need of international protection. The six countries...
Business Relocations : Study Puts Paid to Commonly Held Beliefs
A study conducted by Reckon LLP for the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has put paid to some of the commonly accepted ideas on the subject of relocations. The study reveals that only a few sectors are affected and that the new member...
Chemicals : Reach Must Also Ensure the Safety of Workers, Unions Argue
The draft Regulation establishing a European system for the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) might also serve to give workers better health protection. The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), which hosted a conference...
Discrimination : Meps Urge Better Integration of Disabled People
The European Parliament's Committee on Employment and Social Affairs adopted, on 5 October, a report by Elisabeth Lynne (ALDE, UK) on the situation of disabled people in the enlarged EU (40 in favour, three against). In the own-initiative report, the...
Economic Redundancy : Court Finds in Favour of Greek Goodyear Employees
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) insisted on 7 September on full application of the Directive of 17 February 1975 in a case concerning Greek Goodyear employees and their former employer, thus confirming established case law (C-187/05 to C-190/05)....
Education : Eu Ratings System to Make Qualifications Translate Cross-Border
Proposals for a European Qualifications Framework (EQF), seen as a major plank in the educational dimension of the EU's Lisbon Agenda, have been adopted by the European Commission on 5 September. The EQF will provide for a person's qualifications...
Education : Investing in Education Pays Social Dividends, Says Commission
The UK government's finances would stand to benefit to the tune of around [pounds sterling]665 million per year through reduced crime and increased earning potential if an extra 1% of the working population had A levels (exams sat at the end of secondary...
Education : Meps Raise the Bar on Commission Mobility Proposals
Assistance for people planning to study abroad to transfer government loans and grants to their host country is one type of support that will now be added to the proposed European Quality Charter for Mobility, following the European Parliament's first...
Education : Understanding the Eu Set out as a Key Competence for Citizens
An understanding of current affairs, as well as knowledge of European integration and the European Union's structures are two of the main additions made by MEPs to the European Commission's proposed list of key competences for EU citizens. The amendments,...
Employment Contracts : Misuse of Fixed-Term Contracts Must Be Effectively Penalised
The EU Court of Justice has confirmed its approach - based on fine distinctions - to application of Directive 1999/70 and the framework agreement on fixed-term work in the public sector and the crucial question of limits on their renewal (Judgments...
Employment/globalisation Fund : Rapporteur Keen to Speed Up Emergence of a Compromise
In the run-up to the final meetings between shadow Employment Committee rapporteurs, and following their first meetings on the issue in July, the European Parliament Employment Committee's central rapporteur Roselyne Bachelot (EPP-ED, FR) has clarified...
Employment : Progress Programme Clears Parliament
The European Parliament, on 27 September, approved the Council's common position on the Progress programme - the Community programme for employment and social solidarity, which will enter into force on 1 January 2007. Progress will be awarded a total...
Etuc Wages Are Not Enemy of Stability
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has urged the European Central Bank (ECB) not to regard wages as posing an increased risk to price stability. In a statement, the ETUC points out that "the ECB is justifying its monetary tightening by referring...
Free Movement of Workers : What Transitional Measures for Romanians and Bulgarians?
The freedom of movement of Romanian and Bulgarian workers will be subject to the same transitional measures as those applied to the eight east European member states from the previous enlargement wave. There is, nevertheless, one difference - which...
Gender Equality : Ministers Discuss Ways to Boost Role of Women in the Workplace
EU ministers responsible for gender equality discussed the situation of women in private sector enterprise decision-making at a meeting on 7 October in Helsinki. The informal equality ministerial meeting was attended by ministers and leading civil...
Gender Equality : No Justification Needed for Length of Service Criteria
Are length of service allowances a factor in pay discrimination between men and women? And, above all, do they need to be justified? This is not a new question. However, the EU Court of Justice, considering a case concerning the British Civil Service,...
Globalisation Adjustment Fund : Finnish Presidency Proposes a Compromise
The Finnish Presidency of the EU, on 6 October, presented the Social Questions Working Party with a proposal for aacompromise on the regulation establishing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). As previously suggested by the European Commission...
Globalisation Adjustment Fund : Meps Show Mixed Feelings
During the meeting of the European Parliament's Employment Committee on 12 September, MEPs of all persuasions expressed mixed and often sceptical views on theaEuropean Globalisation Adjustment Fund (GAF), even though some of them favoured the compromise...
Healthcare Services : Commissioner Pidla Insists Status of Carers Must Be Improved
Vladimir pidla, the Commissioner responsible for Employment, Social Affairs and Gender Equality, aired a number of his ideas concerning healthcare services and demographic changes at a conference on 13 September on long-term healthcare. First observation:...
Healthcare Services : Commission May Legislate on Healthcare Services
Launching a consultation on healthcare services on 5 September, the European Commission aims to resolve the conundrum posed by European Court of Justice case law between freedom of movement for patients and the preservation of public finances. The...
Healthcare Services/social Security : Commission Launches Debate on Cross-Border Healthcare
The European Commission is about to start a debate on the scope for EU action on healthcare services. A consultation is due to be launched in Strasbourg on 26 September. Following its debate on 5 September (see Europolitics 3143), the upcoming communication...
Healthcare Services: Two Consultations in One?
On perusing the consultation launched by the European Commission on healthcare services one can but be struck by the candid if not naive nature of the questions posed. As though nothing existed. As though, since 1971 and regulation 1408 coordinating...
Health : Eu25: HIV-Aids Awareness High but Misconceptions Remain
At a 2 October EU-level HIV-AIDS prevention round table, focussing on safer sex for young people, the European Commission released the results of the latest Eurobarometer on HIV-AIDS. Those attending the event included youth organisations, representatives...
Health : Eu Called on to Act against Obesity
Respondents to a public consultation are calling on the European Commission to adopt a cross-border, multi-sector approach to tackle the widespread problem of obesity in the EU, particularly among young people. The consultation was launched in December...
Health Services/social Security : General Interest, Individual Rights and Freedom to Provide Services
ANALYSIS OF CASE LAW The freedom to provide services, as one of the fundamental principles of the EC Treaty, may be restricted only by provisions which are justified by overriding reasons relating to 'general interest' and are applied to all persons...
Interview with John Monks, Secretary General of Etuc : Financial Speculation Serves No Purpose
Invited by the Finnish EU Presidency to make his points in ten minutes in the informal EcoFin Council in Helsinki on 8 September as part of the follow up to the debate on the challenges facing the EU because of globalisation, John Monks, Secretary...
Invalidity Pensions : Court Rules for Former Moroccan Combatant
The Association Agreement signed in 1996 by the EC and Morocco rules out host member states "refusing to grant a military invalidity pension to a Moroccan national who served in the army of that state and is resident on its territory, solely on the...
Justice and Home Affairs Council : Pnr and Schengen Cloud Luxembourg Discussions
EU justice and home affairs ministers meeting in Luxembourg were once again reminded of the urgent need to tackle immigration when 20 would-be immigrants drowned whilst attempting to reach the Spanish Canary Islands on 5 October. At the same time,...
Justice and Home Affairs : Parliament Criticises Eu Justice Progress
In plenary session on 27 September, the European Parliament held a major debate with the Commission and Council on a common EU immigration policy. Finnish Minister of the Interior Kari Rajamaki stressed the fight against terrorism, human rights and...
Justice and Home Affairs : Parliament Criticises Eu Justice Progress
Ahead of a vote on 28 September, the European Parliament held a major debate with the Commission and Council on a common EU immigration policy. Finnish Minister of the Interior Kari Rajamaki stressed the fight against terrorism, human rights and liberties,...
Justice and Home Affairs : Schengen Information System Enlargement Draws Closer
Following the recent negotiations between Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the Council Presidency, it now seems apparent that the enlargement of the Schengen Information System (SIS) to the ten new member states may be decided...
Justice & Home Affairs : Tampere Decision-Making Deadlock
The informal meeting of EU justice and home affairs ministers in Tampere on 21-22 September failed to reach agreement on improving decision-making. "The EU cannot be paralysed and simply wait for the European Constitution," said Finnish Justice Minister...
Modernisation of Labour Law : Green Paper Postponed Yet Again
The European Commission has chosen to postpone the publication of its Green Paper on the modernisation of labour law by a few weeks, adding to a growing number of postponements for a dossier, originally announced in 2000, which has been the subject...
Posting of Workers : Directive Needs Clarification, Meps Argue
The Posting of Workers Directive is being badly applied in some member states and is consequently failing to meet its aims, claim members of the European Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee. The own-initiative report by MEP Elisabeth...
Public Finances : Commission Draws Up New List of Risks Linked to Ageing
Eight months after the EcoFin Council adopted a particularly worrying report on the impact of Europe's ageing population on the sustainability of public finances, the European Commission intends to re-open the subject. On 12 October, it adopted a new...
Services D'interet General : To Translate (En) : Le Parlement Demande a la Commission D'agir Mais Reste Flou
Le Parlement europeen a approuve, le 27 septembre, le rapport d'initiative sur les services d'interet general. Malgre une discussion assez vive (voir Europolitique 3157), les principaux groupes politiques se sont finalement ranges, comme un seul homme...
Services Directive : Gebhardt's Amendments Face Uphill Battle to Be Accepted
As soon as they got their hands on the list of eleven amendments proposed by Evelyne Gebhardt to the Council's common position, the Commission and the Finnish Presidency aired doubts as to the likelihood of their being adopted by the member states....
Services Directive : Mep Anxious to Preserve Fragile Compromise
No modification or pruning' of the compromise secured by EU member states on 29 May, just a few additions to fine-tune' the text. This, in substance, is the tenor of the 11 amendments tabled by MEP Evelyne Gebhardt (PES, DE), the European Parliament's...
Services of General Interest : Commission Proposes to Take Dossier Forward
Appearing before the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 26 September, the president of the European Commission indicated that the issue of Services of General Interest (SGI) will be taken forward with a communication presented before the end of the...
Services of General Interest : Meps Remain Divided on Framework Directive
MEPs remain divided on the need for a horizontal framework Directive on Services of General Interest. Broadly speaking, groups to the right of the political dividea EPP, ALDE, I&D reject the very principle of a horizontal framework directive...
Services of General Interest : Parliament Demands Legislation from the Commission
Negotiations between political groups and especially the Party of European Socialists (PES) and the European People's Party (EPP-ED) continued until the last minute in order to settle compromise amendments on the report by Bernhard Rapkay (PES, DE)...
Services of General Interest : Sgi Essential to All Member States, Ceep Says
The European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises of General Economic Interest (CEEP), which held its 17th congress on 7 and 8 September in Bucharest, Romania, has published a declaration, particularly on the EU's enlargement...
Social Exclusion : Eapn Calls for Overhaul of Economic and Social Policy
"The shocking official figures of 72 million people living their daily lives in or at risk of poverty shows that the EU has failed in reaching the vision of a social Europe." This is a damning conclusion drawn by delegates attending the European Anti-Poverty...
Social Policy : European Social Model an Advantage Not a Burden, Says Ep
By adopting the report by Jose Silva Penneda (EPP-ED, Portugal) and Proinsias De Rossa (PES, Ireland) by an overwhelming majority (507 votes for, 113 against and 42 abstentions), the European Parliament wished mainly to emphasise that social policies,...
Social Security/analysis : Healthcare Reimbursement, as Defined by the Treaty
The patient and healthcare mobility dossier is closely linked to that on social security. In this area, the principal problem is not the freedom of movement (entry and residence in a member state, right to services, etc) as pointed out by the Court...
Social Security : Case Law on Healthcare and Freedom of Movement
Reimbursing healthcare received by patients in another EU member state would normally fall under social security regulations. But this does not mean that this question cannot also fall under the freedom to provide services and goods, provided for by...
Structural Funds : Council Adopts Strategic Guidelines for 2007-2013
The strategic guidelines on the EU's Cohesion Policy for 2007-2013 were definitively adopted by the EU Council of Ministers in Luxembourg on 6 October. Only the United Kingdom abstained. The next step is to adopt the national priorities - known as...
Working Time : Ombudsman Calls for Action regarding Stand-By Duty
Although the European Court of Justice, in numerous verdicts, has ruled that stand-by duty' should be considered as working time, the European Commission until now has adopted a wait and see' attitude to infringements by member states in cases concerning...