The freedom of movement for workers is a fundamental principle of the European Union. Together with the free movement of goods, services, and capital, it is a cornerstone of the Single Market, and has contributed to the success of the European project.
The first point I want to make is that the European social model owes much to social dialogue between workers and employers. (...) The second point I want to emphasise is that one key lesson of the recent past is that high-quality social dialogue has played a significant role in alleviating the effects of the recession.
Social innovation is not only about finding alternative solutions to gaps in the market and public sector, but it is about finding the best ways to empower people - especially deprived groups - through their active involvement in the innovative process.
Extending working life is not only a question of incentives in pension schemes. Raising the statutory retirement age or doing away with early-retirement schemes will not automatically mean that people will work longer and the effective retirement age will go up. Therefore, comprehensive active-ageing strategies are needed.
There are key challenges facing us — both in the short term, to boost the employability of workers after the crisis — and in the long term, to match the change in skill requirements.
The Commission has started consulting the EGF’s main stakeholders, including Member State authorities and the social partners at EU and sector level. It will be listening to their feedback carefully — and their criticism too — as it looks at options for the Fund after 2013.