The committee's primary role is as an advisory committee for Employment and Social Affairs Ministers in the Employment and Social Affairs Council (EPSCO). The majority of EMCO's work nowadays is centred around advising Ministers on the main products coming out of the European Semester.
European Semester (annually)
Stronger multilateral surveillance (European Semester)
Since 2011, EMCO has pioneered work on strengthening multilateral surveillance – to monitor member countries’ progress implementing reforms prompted by the CSRs and prepare the next year’s CSRs for the Council to adopt.
New tools for multilateral surveillance
- Joint Assessment Framework (JAF) – analytical tool based on a set of commonly agreed indicators showing good and bad performance towards the main Europe 2020 targets.
- Employment Performance Monitor – joint Commission /EMCO report summarising the JAF assessment and the key challenges it identifies. Adopted twice a year by the Council.
- Benchmarking tool for the EPM – provides a visual representation of performance against the EU average, and best performers.
- Thematic reviews – peer reviews of CSR-related national reforms (examining both implementation over the year and pre-implementation policy announcements). Key in helping EMCO prepare the multilateral position used to assess the new draft CSRs proposed by the Commission every year.
The committee meets regularly throughout the year, sometimes including EU-level trade unions and employers representatives.
It also meets regularly with other related Council committees (especially the committees for Economic Policy, Social Protection and Education).
And it participates – at technical level – in the Macroeconomic Dialogue (Cologne process).
Sub-groups of the committee
- Ad hoc policy group – helps EMCO promote coordination between EU governments on employment and labour market policies.
- Indicators group – helps EMCO select and develop indicators to monitor the employment strategy and produces both the Employment Performance Monitor and the Benchmarking.
Ad hoc group members
Indicators group members
Each EU country and the Commission nominate 2 members to EMCO. For the Ad Hoc Group and Indicators Group, the Commission nominates 1 member.
The Employment Committee was created by a Council Decision in 2000, on the basis of Art. 150 of the TFEU.