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Parliamentary questions
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16 November 2017
Answer given by Ms Thyssen on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-005330/2017

The Commission's reflection paper on the social dimension of Europe highlights the various drivers of change by 2025 on the labour market, including technology and digital economy.

Available evidence set out in the Commission 2016 Employment and Social Developments in Europe report(1) suggests that new technologies in general could have a net positive effect on jobs at EU level. In order to respond adequately to these challenges skills developments are of major importance.

The new Skills Agenda for Europe(2), especially through the Upskilling Pathways and the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition initiatives, aims to mobilise labour market and digital stakeholders to improve digital skills. Reskilling the workforce is also a central topic of the Digitising European Industry strategy(3), which proposes a range of actions to help European industry to capitalise on the opportunities of digitisation.

The European Pillar of Social Rights(4), recently launched by the Commission, aims to serve as a guide towards efficient employment and social outcomes when responding to current and future challenges which are directly aimed at fulfilling people's essential needs, and towards ensuring better enactment and implementation of social rights. Together with the Pillar, the Commission proposed several initiatives to deliver on its principles and rights and a monitoring framework to track trends and performances across Europe.(5)

The Commission also supports Social Partners in the implementation of their Joint Work Programme, which includes action on ‘Skills needs in digital economies’(6), and sustains job creation and skills development through the EU funds (e.g. the European Structural and Investment Funds, Horizon 2020, Employment and Social Innovation programme).

As part of its response to globalisation and digitisation, the Commission is also launching a pilot action to support regions in industrial transition, drawing on the smart specialisation approach.(7)

(1)Employment and Social Developments in Europe — Annual Review 2016, SWD (2016) 477.
(3)Digitising European Industry: Reaping the full benefits of a Digital Single Market — COM(2016) 180 final.
(6)The 2015-2017 Work Programme of the European Social Partners — Partnership for inclusive growth and employment, available at: https://circabc.europa.eu/sd/a/3e6d760d-4ed6-42f0-8531-8fd1e80146a3/Interpro-2015-2017-WP.pdf
(7)COM(2017) 376 final.

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