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European employment strategy

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The European employment strategy seeks to create more and better jobs throughout the EU. It takes its inspiration from the Europe 2020 growth strategy.

The European employment strategy provides a framework (the "open method of coordination") for EU countries to share information, discuss and coordinate their employment policies.

It is based in the annual growth survey (AGS), which sets out the EU's priorities for the coming year to boost growth and job creation and opens the yearly European semester, which promotes closer coordination by national governments of their economic and fiscal policies.

Each year, this process (which is supported by the work of the Employment committee) involves the following steps:

  • Employment guidelines – common priorities and targets for employment policies. Proposed by Commission, agreed by national governments, adopted by the EU Council.
  • Joint employment report (JER) – based on (a) assessment of employment situation in Europe (b) implementation of the Employment Guidelines (c) examination of draft National Reform Programmes by the Employment Committee. Part of the AGS. Published by Commission, adopted by the EU Council.
  • National Reform Programmes (NRPs) – submitted by national governments, analysed by Commission for compliance with Europe 2020. (database – NRPs prior to 2011)
  • Country-specific recommendations – issued by Commission, based on assessment of the NRPs.
  • On 25 February 2015, the Commission published a series of country reports, analysing Member States' economic policies. The reports include also in-depth reviews of the 16 countries experiencing macroeconomic imbalances.

In response to the high level of unemployment in Europe, the European Commission launched in April 2012 a set of measures to boost jobs, the so called "Employment package".

The European employment strategy also builds on the Europe 2020's Agenda for new skills and jobs and is supported by the European Employment Observatory (EEO) and the Mutual Learning Programme (MLP).


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