Every year since 2010, between January and July, EU countries get together to examine each other's economic policies and agree on country-specific Recommendations. At a time when the EU demography is shrinking and technological change is accelerating, social investment is key to ensuring a sustainable crisis exit and future prosperity. The social partners therefore have a crucial role to play in EU economic governance – a fast evolving process, as this issue shows. Social Agenda is available in English, French and German, also in print.
What does the new European Commission have in store in the field of employment and social affairs for the next five years? This is precisely what Social Agenda asked the new Commissioner responsible for this area, Marianne Thyssen. Articles on green jobs, social investment and how the European Social Fund is being used highlight other key priorities of the Commission which took office in November 2014. Social Agenda is available in English, French and German, also in print.
The 2007-2012 strategy contributed to reducing the number of work-related accidents. The new one focuses on work-related diseases, adapting the work place to longer working lives, health and safety in micro and small enterprises and making prevention a reflex for all. The magazine also features an extensive interview with outgoing European Commissioner László Andor and a presentation of the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived. Social Agenda is available in English, French and German, also in print.
This issue of Social Agenda looks at the new European Social Fund and European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. It highlights the on-going public consultation on how the EU's growth and jobs strategy is going and presents initiatives to make EURES a more pro-active cross-EU job placement tool, manage better company or public service restructuring and ensure quality traineeships. And who are the missing entrepreneurs? Available in English, French and German, also in print.
Youth is the red thread throughout this issue, in particular the EU Youth Guarantee for a quality job, traineeship or education within 4 months of leaving school or becoming unemployed: how the European Commission can help Member States take ownership of this scheme and implement it both nationwide and across borders. It also gives the floor to the European Youth Forum and to a young skateboarder who found a job thanks to the European Social Fund. This issue also contains articles on the EU budgetary framework 2014-2020, the up and coming European elections, undeclared work and stress at work. Social Agenda is available in printed format in English, French and German.
Social Agenda No 35 presents the new European Commission programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) 2014-2020. It also addresses social Economic and Monetary Union, the upcoming annual convention of the European platform Against Poverty and Social Exclusion, the state of industrial relations in Europe and the first EU legislative proposal on Roma integration. The magazine will be available in printed format in English, French and German.
Social Agenda No 34 features the European Commission’s recent proposal to concretely help EU workers who want to move, or already have moved, within the European Single Market. Although the EU legislation on the freedom of movement of workers dates back to 1968, the right to equal treatment with the workers of the host country (i.e. non-discrimination on the grounds of nationality) is still not familiar to many, including among national and local civil servants. Social Agenda also looks from an employment and social affairs angle at the EU budgetary framework leading up to 2020, the need for common European indicators to improve cohesion policy and the 2013 European Semester. And it explains why "Social Europe" is one of the European Commission's most popular social media platforms.
Social Agenda is available in printed format in English, French and German.
If they want to experience economic growth again while reducing their unemployment and poverty rates significantly, Member States must focus on investing in people or "human capital" and make the transition from a welfare state to a social investor state. This issue of Social Agenda focuses on the Social Investment Package for Growth and Cohesion which the European Commission put forward on 20 February 2013. It also looks at people's perception of the quality of life, at the skills that will be needed in the near future and at what EU citizenship means in practice. Social Agenda will be available in English, French and German.
A silent revolution is underway in the field of employment and social data collection and analysis, giving a much more vivid picture of what people are going through and how they are evolving over time. This issue of Social Agenda focuses on the methodology of data collection and its political consequences. For the EU to reach its objective of generating inclusive growth by 2020, social policy must be considered not so much in terms of expenditure but rather as an investment in Europe's most precious asset: its own people or, as economists would say, its "human capital". Social Agenda is available in English, French and German.
With the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion set to meet for its second annual convention in December, the special feature of Social Agenda Issue 31 focuses on social inclusion and the fight against poverty. It looks at the progress made since the Platform’s inception in 2010, citing practical examples of how EU funding and policy initiatives promote social inclusion, including that of the Roma people, the EU's largest minority. European Commission Social Policies Director, Lieve Fransen explains how social policy should be considered more in terms of front-end investment rather than back-end cost. Issue 31 also features articles on EU support for cross-border traineeships and on the agreements recently signed by the European social partners. Social Agenda is available in English, French and German.