• Developing digital skills as more than 90% of jobs require them
  • Easier mobility of workers across jobs, sectors and locations
  • Recognition of qualifications and skills acquired in non-formal learning context
  • Socially and economically balanced structural reforms are needed

The Employment Committee assessed the employment and social aspects of the Commission’s Annual Growth Survey 2018 in a report adopted on Tuesday.

The draft report, which will form part of the Parliament’s contribution to the European Semester exercise, pinpoints the main actions needed to achieve sustainable economic and social development, improve the social standards and decrease inequalities in the EU.

 

Although the employment in the EU has improved, substantial differences among member states persist and the youth unemployment remains high. Socially and economically balanced structural reforms are needed to boost investment, create quality employment and promote fair working conditions, highlight the MEPs.

 

Investing in accessible and high-quality education and training is crucial to guarantee that the skills acquired will match the labour market demand. Developing digital skills is of particular importance, as more than 40% of Europeans lack the digital skills, while more than 90% of jobs require at least some.

 

Recognition of qualifications and skills acquired in non-formal and informal learning contexts can also improve the employability of young people and those that have been out of the labour market because they had to act as carers, stress the MEPs.

 

 The MEPs further call on the member states and the Commission to:

 

  • set adequate minimum income above the poverty line in line with the national legislation;
  • adopt national plans to reduce child poverty;
  • improve services and legislation that are important for proper work-life balance and gender equality;
  • increase efforts to transform undeclared work into declared work by bolstering their labour inspection mechanisms;
  • develop policies which foster a responsible and effective entrepreneurship culture among young people from early age;
  • adapt the pension systems and offer adequate working conditions for those wishing to work longer;
  • facilitate the mobility of workers across jobs, sectors and locations in order to meet the labour demand with labour supply in less and better developed regions.

 

Next steps

 

The committee adopted the report by Krzysztof Hetman (EPP, PL) with 24 votes to 10, with 14 abstentions. It will be debated and voted on by the full House during the March plenary session in Strasbourg.

 

Background

 

The Annual Growth Survey (AGS), integral part of the European Semester, aims at strengthening the sustainable economic development and social convergence by identifying the priorities for the EU and its member states for the year ahead.

For the first time, the principles and rights of the European Pillar of Social Rights are fully integrated in the AGS.