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Parliamentary questions
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9 August 2018
Answer given by Ms Thyssen on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002685/2018

The Commission is committed to promoting dynamic and inclusive labour markets that would enable workers to seize opportunities of the new technologies. It does so by supporting upskilling and reskilling of workers through a range of measures, including the European Social Fund, or pilot measures such as the Blueprint on Sectorial Cooperation on skills(1). The Commission proposal for the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund also includes the support for workers displaced as a result of digitisation and automation.

Moreover, the European Pillar of Social Rights, proclaimed in November 2017, highlights the importance of supporting workers through transitions, including job search, training, and requalification.

Robots are subject to the requirements of the Machinery Directive(2). The directive 2009/104/EC(3) applies to the use of robots at workplaces too. As regards liability, a dedicated Expert Group(4) on liability and new technologies will discuss whether current rules are clear and fit for emerging technologies.

The Commission is aware that technological change will have an impact on employment opportunities in developing countries. Recent EU initiatives include the External Investment Plan (EIP) (2017), created to mobilise and leverage sustainable public and private investments to improve economic and social development with a particular focus on decent job creation. In addition, one of the main objectives of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa(5) (2015) is the creation of decent employment opportunities through inclusive economic programmes (notably for women and youth in local communities), vocational training and creation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

(2)Directive 2006/42/EC — With the exception of robots falling under the scope of the Medical Devices Directives.

Last updated: 9 August 2018Legal notice