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Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - November 2018

12-11-2018

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Health and social security

12-11-2018

While the main responsibility for health and social security lies primarily with the governments of the individual European Union (EU) Member States, the EU complements national policies, especially those having a cross-border dimension. In a recent poll conducted for the European Parliament, more than two thirds of EU citizens expressed support for increased EU action on health and social security. EU health policy aims to foster good health, protect citizens from health threats and support dynamic ...

While the main responsibility for health and social security lies primarily with the governments of the individual European Union (EU) Member States, the EU complements national policies, especially those having a cross-border dimension. In a recent poll conducted for the European Parliament, more than two thirds of EU citizens expressed support for increased EU action on health and social security. EU health policy aims to foster good health, protect citizens from health threats and support dynamic health systems. It is mainly implemented through EU action programmes, the current one being the third health programme (2014-2020). Challenges include tackling the health needs of an ageing population and reducing the incidence of preventable chronic diseases. Since 2014, steps forward have been made in a number of areas, including antimicrobial resistance; childhood obesity, health systems, medical devices and vaccination. EU action on social security issues in the EU is closely related to the implementation of what is known as the European Pillar of Social Rights as well as labour market developments. The EU helps to promote social cohesion, seeking to foster equality as well as solidarity through adequate, accessible and financially sustainable social protection systems and social inclusion policies. EU spending on social security is tied to labour market measures. Progress can be observed on issues such as work-life balance and equal opportunities, but there is more to do. In the future, social protection schemes will need to be further adapted to the new labour market realities (fewer manufacturing jobs, atypical contracts, 'platform work', etc.). In its proposal for the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, the European Commission plans to boost funding to improve workers' employment opportunities, and strengthen social cohesion through an enlarged 'European Social Fund Plus'. The fund would also incorporate finance for the stand-alone health programme, with the aim of creating synergies with the other building blocks of the European Pillar of Social Rights: equal opportunities and access to the labour market; fair working conditions; and social protection and inclusion.

Ensuring more transparent and predictable working conditions

15-10-2018

An employer's obligation to inform their employees on the conditions applicable to their contracts is regulated by Directive 91/533/EEC. Major shifts in the labour market due to demographic trends and digitalisation, spawning a growing number of non-standard employment relationships (such as part-time, temporary and on-demand work), have made it necessary to revise the directive. The European Commission has responded to the need for a change with a proposal aimed at updating and extending the information ...

An employer's obligation to inform their employees on the conditions applicable to their contracts is regulated by Directive 91/533/EEC. Major shifts in the labour market due to demographic trends and digitalisation, spawning a growing number of non-standard employment relationships (such as part-time, temporary and on-demand work), have made it necessary to revise the directive. The European Commission has responded to the need for a change with a proposal aimed at updating and extending the information on employment-related obligations and working conditions, and at creating new minimum standards for all employed workers, including those on atypical contracts. In the European Parliament, the Committee for Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) has published a draft report focused on the scope of the directive, on employees' working hours and the conditions for making information available to them, and on employers' responsibilities.

Social protection in the EU: State of play, challenges and options

11-10-2018

Globalisation, technological change, an aging population and changes to the world of work have made securing social protection for all, i.e. economic and social security, a major challenge. When social protection systems work well, they can have a stabilising effect on the economy and promote socio-economic equality and stability. By contrast, inadequate or ineffective systems can exacerbate inequality. Indeed, improving the existing social protection systems is the priority of half of the principles ...

Globalisation, technological change, an aging population and changes to the world of work have made securing social protection for all, i.e. economic and social security, a major challenge. When social protection systems work well, they can have a stabilising effect on the economy and promote socio-economic equality and stability. By contrast, inadequate or ineffective systems can exacerbate inequality. Indeed, improving the existing social protection systems is the priority of half of the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights – the European Commission's overarching social field initiative designed to serve as a compass for policies updating current labour market and welfare systems. While implementation of the 'social pillar' remains primarily the responsibility of the Member States, in close cooperation with the social partners, the European Commission has put forward several legislative and non-legislative initiatives to support this process in the area of social protection. These include the proposal for a recommendation on social protection for all, including non-standard workers, responding to calls from the European Parliament and the social partners and stakeholders. This proposal had the difficult task of addressing all the disagreements that had arisen during the two-phase consultation in the preparatory phase. While all parties seem to agree on the importance of adjusting social protection to the new realities of life and work, there are differences of opinion concerning the technicalities, such as the financing of schemes. This is in part a reflection of the current evidence that raises many questions as to the optimal response to the new challenges in very diverse systems of social protection across the Member States. The main trends currently include a combination of social protection and social investment, individualisation of social protection schemes and a potential move towards universal social protection, whereby social protection would be removed from the employment relationship. However, financing these schemes poses a challenge.

Reform of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund

10-10-2018

The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was created in 2006 to finance active labour market policies targeting workers who have lost their jobs because of trade adjustment. The fund was subsequently modified in 2009 to cover major structural changes triggered by the economic and financial crisis. The rules of the EGF are laid down in EU Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013, which stipulates that the fund will continue to be financed until 31 December 2020. In May 2018, the European Commission submitted ...

The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was created in 2006 to finance active labour market policies targeting workers who have lost their jobs because of trade adjustment. The fund was subsequently modified in 2009 to cover major structural changes triggered by the economic and financial crisis. The rules of the EGF are laid down in EU Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013, which stipulates that the fund will continue to be financed until 31 December 2020. In May 2018, the European Commission submitted a proposal to reform the EGF and maintain it as a special instrument outside the MFF ceiling. The proposal introduces modifications to the eligibility criteria, the co-financing rules and the mobilisation procedure. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

European Social Fund Plus and European Globalisation Adjustment Fund

08-10-2018

The Commission proposes to establish a European Social Plus (ESF+) by merging different funds and programmes, and a strengthened European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). These proposals would contribute to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights and enhance social Europe. The impact assessment report (IA) concerning the proposals explains the challenges of funding and the defined objectives of the proposals. In relation to the proposed measures, risks and mitigating measures have also ...

The Commission proposes to establish a European Social Plus (ESF+) by merging different funds and programmes, and a strengthened European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). These proposals would contribute to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights and enhance social Europe. The impact assessment report (IA) concerning the proposals explains the challenges of funding and the defined objectives of the proposals. In relation to the proposed measures, risks and mitigating measures have also been discussed. It can be noted that the IA essentially concentrates in providing a thorough assessment of the selected measures, rather than discussing possible alternatives and comparing and assessing them. In addition, it would have benefited the analysis, if the link with the specific objectives had been elaborated more, as the description of social impacts is quite limited, and health impacts are not discussed although the Health Programme is merged into the ESF+. It would have been useful to have further explanation on the merger of the Health Programme into the ESF+ and its expected synergy impacts. A more detailed description would have been welcome concerning the results of the targeted stakeholder consultations.

Limits on exposure to carcinogens and mutagens at work: Third proposal

02-10-2018

The European Commission has proposed to amend Directive 2004/37/EC by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for a number of cancer- or mutation-causing substances. The initiative is proceeding in steps. The first proposal of May 2016 covered 13 priority chemical agents, the second, of January 2017, a further seven. The current (third) proposal addresses an additional five. Broad discussions with scientists and the social partners fed into all three ...

The European Commission has proposed to amend Directive 2004/37/EC by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for a number of cancer- or mutation-causing substances. The initiative is proceeding in steps. The first proposal of May 2016 covered 13 priority chemical agents, the second, of January 2017, a further seven. The current (third) proposal addresses an additional five. Broad discussions with scientists and the social partners fed into all three proposals. Reacting to the Commission's set of measures as a whole, trade unions have acknowledged the importance of further action to improve the existing framework, reiterating the need to reach the target of 50 limit values in 2020, while some considered it necessary to extend the scope of the CMD to substances that are toxic to reproduction. Actors on the employers' side, while in principle supporting further revisions of the directive, have underlined, among other things, the need to ensure that values are proportionate and feasible in terms of technical implementation. While welcoming the Commission proposal, the rapporteur's draft report of 29 June 2018 proposes, inter alia, to grant incentives to businesses that comply with the directive. Moreover, it opts to include, within the scope of the directive, the protection of workers from exposure to hazardous, or harm-causing, medicines (including cytotoxic ones, which are used in the treatment of cancer). First edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Lessons from ESF for ESF+: Workshop summary report

28-09-2018

This briefing summarises presentations and recommendations from a workshop having been organised for the Employment and Social Affairs Committee to support its work on the new regulation. Topics include: absorption, beneficiaries' experience, fighting child poverty, institutional capacity building, the integration of FEAD and YEI.

This briefing summarises presentations and recommendations from a workshop having been organised for the Employment and Social Affairs Committee to support its work on the new regulation. Topics include: absorption, beneficiaries' experience, fighting child poverty, institutional capacity building, the integration of FEAD and YEI.

A new directive on work-life balance

14-09-2018

Despite significant progress for some social groups in the area of work-life balance, there has been a general trend of decline since 2011, and progress amongst Member States has been uneven. This proposed directive (complemented with non-legislative measures) should lead to the repeal of the existing Framework Agreement on Parental Leave, made binding by Council Directive 2010/18/EU (the Parental Leave Directive). The new directive contains proposals for paternity, parental and carers’ leave. Stakeholders ...

Despite significant progress for some social groups in the area of work-life balance, there has been a general trend of decline since 2011, and progress amongst Member States has been uneven. This proposed directive (complemented with non-legislative measures) should lead to the repeal of the existing Framework Agreement on Parental Leave, made binding by Council Directive 2010/18/EU (the Parental Leave Directive). The new directive contains proposals for paternity, parental and carers’ leave. Stakeholders have been divided over the level of ambition of the proposed measures. Both EU advisory committees have issued opinions and some national parliaments have expressed their reasoned and other opinions. The Council of the EU agreed a general approach in June 2018. During the September plenary session, the European Parliament confirmed the mandate for negotiations adopted by the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL), and trilogue negotiations have now started. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

European Artificial Intelligence (AI) leadership, the path for an integrated vision

14-09-2018

As a general-purpose technology Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to bring about far-reaching effects on business and society. Worldwide, governments have launched ambitious programmes to support the development of AI-based technologies and achieve technology leadership. Against this background, this study was commissioned by the Policy Department A upon request of the ITRE Committee to feed into the general debate on how Europe could seize the opportunity of progress made in AI.

As a general-purpose technology Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to bring about far-reaching effects on business and society. Worldwide, governments have launched ambitious programmes to support the development of AI-based technologies and achieve technology leadership. Against this background, this study was commissioned by the Policy Department A upon request of the ITRE Committee to feed into the general debate on how Europe could seize the opportunity of progress made in AI.

Externe auteur

Laura DELPONTE

Toekomstige activiteiten

19-11-2018
European Cultural Heritage
Diverse activiteiten -
CULT
19-11-2018
Hearing: Cross-border family disputes: safeguarding children’s rights
Hoorzitting -
JURI
19-11-2018
European Youth Hearing (follow-up of the EYE2018) in LIBE Committee
Hoorzitting -
LIBE

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