Magazine article European Social Policy

Lisbon Strategy/employment : New Guidelines for 2008-2010

Magazine article European Social Policy

Lisbon Strategy/employment : New Guidelines for 2008-2010

Article excerpt

The EU Council of Ministers adopted, on 29 February, employment guidelines for 2008-2010. This is the third part of the integrated guidelines.

Member states should continue to make every effort to address the priority areas of: 1. attracting and retaining more people in employment, increasing labour supply and modernising social protection systems; 2. improving adaptability of workers and enterprises; and 3. increasing investment in human capital through better education and skills.

Member states should take the employment guidelines "into account when implementing programmed Community funding, in particular of the European Social Fund". The employment guidelines are valid for three years, while in the intermediate years until 2010 their updating should remain "strictly limited".

THE PRIORITIES

The priorities are stated in eight guidelines (which follow on from the other guidelines of an economic nature).

Guideline 17. "Implement employment policies aiming at achieving full employment, improving quality and productivity at work, and strengthening social and territorial cohesion." Certain objectives laid down in Lisbon (2000) and Barcelona (2002) are resumed, to be achieved by 2010:

- employment rate of 70% overall

- employment rate of at least 60% for women

- employment rate of 50% for older workers (55 to 64 years of age)

- reduction of unemployment and inactivity

- child care provisions covering at least 90% of children between three years old and the mandatory school age and at least 33% of children under three years of age

- a five-year increase "at EU level" in the effective average exit age from the labour market.

Guideline 18. "Promoting a lifecycle approach to work," with two objectives by 2010:

- training, retraining, work practice, a job or other employability measure for all unemployed persons, at most twelve months for adults and four months for young people

- active measures for the long-term unemployed, with a participation rate of 25%. …

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