Social Agenda is a quarterly magazine providing an overview of the Commission's action is the area of employment, social affairs and inclusion. Each issue features a special dossier on a hot topic, analysis and interviews.
What the European Pillar of Social Rights, adopted in April, means in practice: this is what the July issue of Social Agenda is all about. The Pillar serves as a reference framework for European Commission proposals on work-life balance and working time. Its spirit also inspires the new Commission proposal on social security coordination, to make free movement of workers within the EU fairer and easier, as well as the latest health and safety package of measures to increase the impact of EU legislation on the work floor. And the focus is on Spain to help employment and social services there cooperate more effectively, on the ground, in the face of long-term and youth unemployment.
This publication is available in print version in English, French and German. Print version coming soon.
The European Social Fund is sixty years old, like the Rome Treaty which created the European Economic Community. This issue of Social Agenda focuses on what it has achieved so far. As the mid-term interview with European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen in this same issue shows, human capital investment is also key to implementing the latest EU-level employment and social policy developments: The New Skills Agenda for Europe, the Youth Guarantee, the customised pathway put in place for the long-term unemployed, the Action Plan for welcoming third-country nationals including asylum-seekers and refugees, the European Semester Recommendations etc. Looking ahead, Social Agenda n°47 also explains how the European Pillar of Social Rights is taking shape.
The EU Youth Guarantee has got off to a good start: in 2014 and 2015, it made a difference in the lives of more than 9 million young people across Europe and it is driving in-depth structural reforms in the Member States. Social Agenda n°46 explains how and highlights what more needs to be done to accelerate and release the full potential of the national plans for implementing the Youth Guarantee. With a blueprint of a European Pillar of Social Rights due for adoption in 2017, Social Agenda also explains the context in which this initiative was born. And it puts the spotlight on plans to achieve more evidence-based social policy making by modernising the way data from social surveys is collected and used across the EU.
Social Agenda n°45 focuses on the recently adopted New Skills Agenda for Europe which supports training, learning, re-training and upskilling in order to better equip citizens for the labour market. The initiative brings clarity to the recognition of education systems, qualifications and skills across Europe, and ensures better skills profiles for third-country nationals.
This issue also highlights the action plan on the integration of third-country nationals, including asylum-seekers and refugees, adopted by the European Commission on 7 June.
Integrating refugees into EU countries' labour markets is both a challenge and an opportunity. Social Agenda n°44 explains why and highlights the need to accelerate and deepen the integration process. The new sense of urgency brought about by the refugee crisis could bring new light and extra impetus to addressing wider issues such as unemployment, skills matching, a diminishing workforce, poverty, gender inequality and other forms of discrimination. It also takes a look at the on-going public consultation on an outline for a European pillar of social rights, the role of civil society in promoting an inclusive form of growth and the updating of the law on the posting of workers in other EU countries.