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.
Things are moving fast as employment and social affairs make up a decisive part of the roadmap to a more united and democratic EU by June 2019, announced by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in September 2017: the Commission proposals to make it happen must be on the table of the European Parliament and Council by May 2018 at the latest.
We explain how the European Pillar of Social Rights, proclaimed by EU leaders last November, serves as a framework for preparing them and is strengthening the social dimension of EU economic governance.
We also review proposals for an EU framework to raise the quality of apprenticeships, report on evidence of an urgent need to take on intergenerational inequality and show how social innovation is a must to ensure sustainable economic growth.
Ahead of the next European Vocational Skills Week (20-24 November), European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen highlights the strategic importance of vocational education, training and skills in addressing today's Europe-wide challenges. In addition to a special feature on skills, a special snapshot presents three options for Europe’s social policy in the run up to 2025 that are open to discussion across Europe. There is a focus on new forms of work too, looking at steps that are being considered to help ensure all workers, including people in new forms of employment, have access to social protection and public employment services and that everybody benefits from proper work contracts. A feature on Greece reviews what the European Social Fund is doing to help the country launch a minimum income scheme
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.