The European Commission has released a comprehensive employment package which includes a policy communication, "Towards a job-rich recovery," and nine Commission Staff Working Documents. The package contains concrete measures to combat mass unemployment and mitigate the effects of the crisis. The green economy, health services and ICT are recognised as high potential employment areas.
The policy communication underlines the need for a stronger employment and a social dimension to EU governance as well as lays down ways to further involve social partners in setting EU priorities.
As part of this package, a specific Staff Working Document on an Action Plan for the EU Health Workforce has been released. It aims to assist Member States to tackle urgent challenges and sets out actions to foster cooperation and share good practices.
The employment package urges Member States to strengthen their national employment policies.
In particular, it includes a number of proposals for Member States to:
Create the right conditions for job creation and labour demand (e.g. hiring subsidies, shift from labour to environmental taxes, and self-employment):
Exploit growth areas such as the green economy and health services.
Improve health workforce planning and forecasting to better match demand and supply, offer long-term prospects and stimulate innovative and effective recruitment and retention.
Support an in highly qualified ICT labour and promote digital skills across the workforce.
In addition, the Communication identifies key areas for reform so that labour markets become more dynamic and inclusive and more resilient to economic change. The proposal also aims to create a genuine EU labour market with the objectives of:
Enhancing labour mobility, legal and practical obstacles to the free movement of workers should be removed (e.g. improving the portability of pensions and the tax treatment of cross border workers, extending the export of unemployment benefits for jobseekers in another country, lifting labour market restrictions for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals).
Improving matching of jobs, the EURES portal should be transformed into a true placement and recruitment tool.
Finally, the plans pave the way for reinforced coordination and monitoring of employment policies at EU level.
The package will be discussed at a high level employment conference on 6-7 September 2012 to further mobilise all partners to implement the measures announced.
For further information:
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