European Social Policy

Articles from November 14

Age Discrimination : Ecj Confirms Compulsory Retirement Age
Can an employer force retirement on an elderly employee when age discrimination is forbidden under EU law? Yes, according to the EU Court of Justice, on condition that certain principles are respected (judgement of 16 October, Felix Palacios de la...
Charter of Fundamental Rights : Parliament Approves New Version, Warsaw Procrastinates
The European Parliament's Constitutional Affairs Committee cleared, on 12 November in Strasbourg, a decision approving the Charter of Fundamental Rights. This is a necessary formality prior to the (re)proclamation of the charter on 12 December in Strasbourg,...
Education, Youth and Culture Council : Qualifications Framework and Erasmus Mundus High on Agenda
Ministers made significant progress on the establishment of a European Qualifications Framework, and on agreeing arrangements for the next phase of the Erasmus Mundus Programme, at the meeting of the Education, Youth and Culture (EYC) Council on 15-16...
European Parliament : Plenary to Debate Expulsion of Romanians from Italy
The highlights of the European Parliament's plenary session, held from 12 to 15 November in Strasbourg, include the official visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, votes on the financing of European political parties and on soil protection, and...
Fight against Poverty : Commission Presents Integrated Solutions for Tackling Poverty
Income support, access to labour markets and quality social services are the three key areas that the European Commission wishes to develop in order to strengthen the EU's policy against exclusion, as presented on 17 October, the International Day...
Flexicurity : Meps Seek to Defend Interests of Employees and Employers Alike
Any flexicurity strategies should make recruitment easier thus allowing companies to respond rapidly to changing economic circumstances, says an own-initiative report adopted by the Employment Committee of the European Parliament on 12 November (32...
Globalisation Adjustment Fund : Parliament Approves First Applications
The European Parliament approved, on 23 October, the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Fund (EGF) for subcontractors at Renault and Peugeot. France had made two applications on 9 and 13 March to come to the aid of employees threatened with...
Globalisation Adjustment Fund : Six New Applications Filed since Summer
Hard on the heels of the applications filed by France (for sub-contractors of car makers Peugeot-Citroen and Renault) and by Germany and Finland (concerning redundancies in two companies in the mobile phone sector, BenQ and Perlos ), the European Commission...
Harassment at Work : Social Agreement Submitted to Meps and Member States
The European Commission has submitted to the European Parliament and Council the framework agreement on harassment and violence in the workplace, which was concluded on 26 April by union and employer representatives at the European level. This is the...
Illegal Work : Member States Urged to Step Up Fight against Undeclared Work
The European Commission's message is clear: "It is time for member states to step up their fight against undeclared work". Vladimir Spidla, the European commissioner for employment, social affairs and equal opportunities, was even more specific when...
Immigration : Epc: Migrations Help Increase Growth Potential
The Ecofin Council of November 2006 mandated the European Commission to present a report analysing the economic determinants of migration in Europe. On the basis of this report, the Economic Policy Committee (EPC) submitted its own conclusions to the...
Interview with John Monks, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation : "The Lifetime Job Still Has a Future"
The social partners presented publicly, on 7 November in Brussels, their joint analysis of the European employment markets (adopted at the Tripartite Social Summit,). On this occasion, the general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation...
Justice and Home Affairs : Frattini Takes Wait and See' Stance on Italian Decree
The European Commission is still holding back from giving a proper assessment of the legality of a recent Italian decree, adopted on 31 October, giving local officials the power to expel EU citizens from other member states. Speaking in the European...
Justice and Home Affairs : Ministers Make Headway on Non-Custodial Sentences
EU national ministers have made considerable progress towards reaching agreement on arrangements for transferring EU citizens back to their home country when they have been punished with a non-custodial sentence in another member state. The ministers...
Labour Law : Consultation Reveals Divergent Views
What is the future of labour law? The consultation carried out by the European Commission on its green paper of November 2006 has brought in a wide range of reactions (450 opinions were submitted). The subject was known to be highly sensitive but it...
Legal Migration : Frattini Unveils Plans for Eu Blue Card' Scheme
Long-awaited proposals for the EU blue card' scheme for highly skilled migrants were adopted by the European Commission on 23 October. The idea of the blue card has been promoted by Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini as an important tool to increase...
Legal Migration : Ministers Demand Clarifications on Functioning of Eu Blue Card
Further clarity is needed on the requirements that would be placed on applicants for the planned EU blue card', according to EU interior ministers, who discussed the plans on 8 November during a debate on the European Commission's recent migration...
Legal Migration : Set of Eu-Wide Minimum Rights Proposed for Third Country Workers
People from third countries who have come to the EU to work should be guaranteed a basic set of rights no matter which member state they are living in, according to the European Commission, which has adopted proposals to address the issue on 23 October....
Lisbon Summit : Social Partners Agree on Flexicurity
After two days of discussions in the Executive Committee of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), on 17 and 18 October, the trade unions finally agreed to sign the text negotiated with the other social partners (BusinessEurope, CEEP and UEAPME)...
Lisbon Treaty : A Social Policy in a Minor Key
While the scope of social policy does not change, certain developments nonetheless occur with regard to the philosophy of the objectives, the introduction of a social horizontal clause, voting rules on social issues, the emphasis given to social dialogue...
Lisbon Treaty/freedom, Security and Justice : Extension of Majority Voting Heralds New Era for Jha Policy
The most fundamental change in the area of Justice and Home Affairs, under the new Treaty, will be the extension of qualified majority voting (QMV) in Council to areas where decisions previously had to be taken by unanimity (JHA renamed in the Treaty...
Lisbon Treaty / Freedom, Security and Justice : Opt-Outs Extended to Address Concern at Loss of National Vetoes
New elements are to be added to the opt-out' arrangements for the UK and Ireland, under the EU's new reform treaty, aimed at addressing previously unexplored questions concerning Council decision making in Justice and Home Affairs (JHA renamed in...
Public Health : Ep Wants More Research on Dangers of Snus
In an own-initiative report adopted on 24 October in Strasbourg, on the Green Paper Towards a Europe free from tobacco smoke', the European Parliament urges the European Commission "to investigate the health risks associated with consumption of snus'...
Public Health : Study: Eu Lacks Consistency in Pandemic Planning
Despite being better prepared than they were in 2005, countries in Europe are still failing to provide details of exactly what measures have been implemented to combat a potential flu pandemic. A study published recently in the World Health Organisation...
Qualified Majority Voting : Double Majority Voting Will Have to Wait till 2014 **
The new qualified majority voting system in the Council should only be applied from 1 November 2014. This is what the heads of state and government of the EU27 unanimously agreed in the early hours of June 23, to satisfy Poland's persistent requests....
Revision of Lisbon Strategy : Globalisation: Parliament's Red Lines
If the European Union really wants to benefit from globalisation(1), it should first and foremost boost its own economic and social cohesion. That is the message MEPs aim to put across during a debate (on 14 November) on the challenges of globalisation....
Safety at Work : MRI Scans to Get Four-Year Reprieve
The European Commission proposed, on 26 October, to postpone for four years - until 30 April 2012- the deadline for introducing legislation on workers' exposure to electromagnetic fields, which could affect the use of technologies such as magnetic...
Schengen Area : Party Planning in Full Swing as Date Set for Ending Border Checks
It is official: nine new EU member states will, as planned, be joining the Schengen area on 21 December. The move will lead to the absence of internal border checks in Europe for an area stretching from the Atlantic coastline to as far as the EU's...
SERVICESaDIRECTIVE : COMMISSIONa(RE)DEFINES EXCLUDED NON-ECONOMIC' SECTORS
The European Commission's Directorate-General for Internal Market and Services (DG Markt) has published on its internet site a handbook(1) on the implementation of the Services Directive (2006/123/EC), proposed in 2004 by Commissioner Frits Bolkestein...
Services of General Interest : Dispute Raging within the Commission
The adoption by the European Commission of several communications, one on services of general interest and the other on social services of general interest, has been postponed from 13 to 20 November. This is a sign of extreme difficulty which will...
Social Policy : Modest Success for a Social Europe **
Although the new treaty only brings small advances for social policy, it can be considered a modest success at least for a social Europe. The document proves that Europe is not inherently hostile to social issues as the supporters of the yes' campaign...
Social Policy : Spidla Spells out Priorities of New Social Agenda after 2010
A social and competitive' Europea- this is the leitmotif that the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Vladimir Spidla, intends to roll out in the coming months, and which he presented to social partners during...