Today the College of Commissioners held a first orientation debate on establishing a European Pillar of Social Rights. It should be a self-standing reference document, of a legal nature, setting out key principles and values shared at EU level.
Across the EU, the number of older people is increasing – particularly fast, when it comes to people over 80 – and the number of young and working-age people is decreasing. Many regard this as a problem, particularly if they see older people as a burden.
The European Commission is launching a public consultation today on the mid-term review of the European Disability Strategy (2010-2020).
Access to early childhood education and childcare (ECEC) is important for promoting equal opportunities of children as well as for facilitating work-family balance of parents and especially labour market participation of mothers of small children.
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.