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European employment strategy - Employment guidelines

The employment guidelines, proposed by the Commission and approved by the Council, present common priorities and targets for the national employment policies.

On 22 November 2017 the Commission adopted a proposal to amend the guidelines to align the text with the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Earlier, in October 2015, a new package of integrated policy guidelines was adopted by the Council to support the achievement of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, and the aims of the European Semester of economic policy coordination.

Specifically, the Employment Guidelines frame the scope and direction for Member States’ policy coordination and provide the basis for Country Specific Recommendations.

The Employment Guidelines are also intrinsically linked with the guidelines for the economic policies of the Member States and of the EU. Together they form the integrated guidelines which, since 2010, underpin the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The integrated guidelines reflect the new approach to economic policy-making built on investment, structural reform and fiscal responsibility.

The 4 Employment guidelines target four key domains and are structured as follows:

  1. Boosting demand for labour, and in particular guidance on job creation, labour taxation and wage-setting.
  2. Enhanced labour and skills supply, by addressing structural weaknesses in education and training systems, and by tackling youth and long-term unemployment.
  3. Better functioning of the labour markets, with a specific focus on reducing labour market segmentation and improving active labour market measures and labour market mobility.
  4. Fairness, combating poverty and promoting equal opportunities for all.