Magazine article European Social Policy

Employment : Member States Urged to Be More Ambitious

Magazine article European Social Policy

Employment : Member States Urged to Be More Ambitious

Article excerpt

The Council of Employment and Social Affairs Ministers on 10 March is expected to adopt a series of key messages in preparation for the spring European Council.

The meeting will in many ways resemble a ritual. The target of reaching "an employment rate of 70% of the population by 2010" is becoming somewhat repetitive. But the tone used by Ministers this year is more determined, more combative, according to draft conclusions obtained by Europolitics. a a

One of the points mentioned is that member states should "show more ambition" in reaching the targets set by the European Employment Strategy. "The European Economy has the necessary potential to achieve significant results in improving the number and quality of jobs".

Consequently, member states will be urged to make the transition to more active and preventative policies. It is "essential to establish better coordination between these action policies and instruments of social protection", in order to encourage and help citizens in finding paid employment. "Both encouragement measures and penalties" should continue to play an important role. By the same token, measures to help those with few qualifications and are badly paid, particularly those working on the margins of the labour market, need to be "targeted".

The text also calls for "the implementation of judicious (financial) incentives" to encourage education and life long learning. It also called on European Union to allocate substantial financial support" to these actions. …

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