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European employment strategy

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The European employment strategy (EES) was introduced in 1992 by the Treaty of the European Union and since then has been the cornerstone of the EU’s employment policy. Its main aim is the creation of more and better jobs throughout the EU.

It now constitutes part of the Europe 2020 growth strategy and it is implemented through the European semester, an annual process promoting close policy coordination among EU Member States and EU Institutions.

In particular, the implementation of the EES - supported by the work of the Employment committee - involves the following four steps of the European Semester:

  1. Employment guidelines are common priorities and targets for employment policies proposed by the Commission, agreed by national governments and adopted by the EU Council.
  2. The Joint employment report (JER) is based on (a) the assessment of the employment situation in Europe (b) the implementation of the Employment Guidelines and (c) an assessment of the Scoreboard of key employment and social indicators. It is published by Commission and adopted by the EU Council.
  3. National Reform Programmes (NRPs) are submitted by national governments and analysed by the Commission for compliance with Europe 2020. (database – NRPs prior to 2011)
  4. Based on the assessment of the NRPs the Commission publishes a series of Country reports, analysing Member States' economic policies and issues Country-specific recommendations.

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