In February 2012, the Barroso II Commission completed the 2nd year of its mandate – a year of two different halves. In the first half, the EU made progress with economic growth and also with reducing unemployment. The 2nd half, however, saw a deceleration of the recovery and an increasing risk of a new recession. It became clear that Europe became more asymmetric in terms of the financial stability, economic and employment performance, and the social conditions of the Member States. Unemployment, poverty and inequalities have increased. We needed therefore to re-focus our efforts to address the problems of those most in need, especially young people.Here are the ten highlights from 2011 in employment and social affairs:
The European Commission has published a White Paper on adequate, safe and sustainable pensions. It looks at how the EU and the Member States can work to tackle the major challenges that confront our pension systems.
László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion welcomed the signing of the new social partner agreement to lay down specific rules for working time on passenger or cargo transport ships in inland waterways across the EU.
In his first trip to the US as EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor will leave for Washington and New York City on February 1st. During his visit, Mr Andor will meet with key US labour counterparts, prominent think tanks and academics, including economist Joseph Stiglitz.