On the occasion of the European Day for People with Disabilities, the European Commission is pleased to announce that Milan (Italy) is the winner of the 2016 Access City Award. Wiesbaden (Germany), Toulouse (France), Vaasa (Finland) and Kaposvár (Hungary) were also awarded for their efforts to improve accessibility for people with disabilities and the elderly.
The European Commission today proposed a European Accessibility Act, which will set common accessibility requirements for certain key products and services that will help people with disabilities at EU level to participate fully in society.
The economic crisis has put income inequality high on the political agenda. Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the 21st century" made the topic also a subject of coffee breaks, while Wilkinson and Pickett's "The Spirit Level" illustrated how inequality is associated with various social ills in our societies.
The European Commission has today launched a public consultation on how to improve work-life balance and reduce obstacles to women's participation in the labour market, thereby contributing to the employment headline target of the Europe 2020 Strategy.
Europe is ageing. More than 130 million people in the European Union, or about a quarter of the total population, receive a pension. By and large, the national pension systems make sure that older citizens receive a stable income after the end of their working life and are not threatened by poverty. In fact, the risk of being poor in the EU is lower among the elderly above age 65 as compared to the population below age 65.
In all EU countries, social security systems are in place to provide a safety net to those who lose their jobs. Much has been said about the generosity of unemployment benefits that may entice workers to stay at home rather than to look for a job, or about the need to make sure that the unemployed receiving benefits also meet obligations to actually look for a job or get training.
A report commissioned by the European Commission from the European Social Policy Network of independent experts (ESPN) published today shows an inadequate response in the Member States regarding the reintegration of the long-term unemployed.
While more and more people experience poverty at some point in their life, a short-lived experience is certainly different in nature than long-term poverty.
The European Commission and the World Bank have recently unveiled a report profiling the unemployed and inactive populations in six EU countries (Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Greece).
The EU's Council of Employment and Social Policy Ministers will meet on 16 October in Luxembourg.