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Press release

EU 2020 strategy: high employment and job quality must be key aims, say MEPs

Employment policy - 29-04-2010 - 09:57
Committee : Employment and Social Affairs
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The EU 2020 strategy needs quantifiable poverty reduction targets and more effective forms of governance in employment and social policy than the traditional open method of coordination among Member States, said a resolution approved by the Employment and Social Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

High employment and job quality must be "central points" of the new strategy, says the resolution drafted by Pervenche Berès (S&D, FR) and approved with 26 votes in favour, 16 against and 2 abstentions. Parliament has the legal right to be consulted on the EU’s employment policy guidelines and so could delay adoption of the EU 2020 package if it is not satisfied with the contents.
The need to create the right conditions for reconciling work and family life and open up labour market access to people currently excluded from it, such as disabled people, younger and older people, ethnic minorities, migrants and long-tem unemployed, was also stressed by MEPs.
To tackle youth unemployment, the committee urged the Council and the Commission to "establish a European Youth Guarantee" which would protect their right "to be offered a job, apprenticeship, additional training after a maximum period of 4 months unemployment". MEPs also call on the Commission to propose a "European Disability Pact" to ensure that disability policy is properly coordinated.
Quantifiable targets
The committee regretted that the Spring European Council had been unable to agree on quantifiable targets for reducing school drop-out rates, boosting the numbers of people who complete their education and cutting the number of Europeans living below the poverty line by 25%.
To reduce poverty, MEPs reiterated Parliament's proposals to establish EU targets for minimum income (at least 60% of national median equalised income), minimum wages (at least 60% of the relevant national average wage in the relevant sector) and ending street homelessness by 2015.
Effective governance
A more effective form of governance in the employment and social area than the open method of coordination, which failed to achieve some of its aims, is needed for the years to come, says the resolution.
MEPs also reiterated longstanding requests for the Council and the Commission to involve Parliament fully in drawing up objectives, targets and indicators for the new economic and employment strategy, and also to give Parliament access to documents, meetings, and work on monitoring and reviewing progress. 
Procedure: motion for resolution
Vote in plenary: June
REF.: 20100426IPR73482