Third revision of the Treaties in Amsterdam
Treaty of Amsterdam, 16/17.6.1997
A new objective for the European
Union, relevant to economic and monetary union, was introduced by
the Treaty of Amsterdam.
Employment now became a “matter of common concern” for the Member
States (Article 126 of the EC Treaty). The new objective was to
achieve “a high level of employment” without weakening the
competitiveness of the European Union (Article 2 of the EU Treaty
and Article 2 of the EC Treaty).
To achieve this, the Union was vested with a new power,
supplementary to that of the Member States, namely to prepare a
“co-ordinated strategy” for employment. The core of this strategy
consists of common guidelines similar to those which had been
adopted at the 1994 Essen European Council.
The new Title VIII (Articles 125 to 130) of the EC Treaty spells out
these objectives and how to achieve them. It also provides for the
creation of an Employment Committee.
The Treaty's explicit reference to employment institutionalises the
initiatives launched by the Member States at different European
Councils as well as those put forward by the Commission over the
past two years. Moreover, alongside the provisions on Economic and
Monetary Union, it redresses the balance by adding to the
macroeconomic provisions a number of measures that meet European
citizens' expectations in terms of reducing unemployment. Indeed one
of the hallmarks of this new Title is that repercussions on
employment must be taken into account in adopting and implementing
each Community policy and action.
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