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International Equal Pay Day

16-09-2021

As things stand, the gender pay gap persists globally and in the European Union, and progress in reducing it is slow. The coronavirus pandemic is a further brake on gender equality. To accelerate the realisation of the principle of 'Equal pay for work of equal value', the United Nations marked the first International Day for Equal Pay on 18 September 2020. This year, for its second edition, the debate will focus on ensuring that equal pay remains at the centre of the response to the pandemic and ...

As things stand, the gender pay gap persists globally and in the European Union, and progress in reducing it is slow. The coronavirus pandemic is a further brake on gender equality. To accelerate the realisation of the principle of 'Equal pay for work of equal value', the United Nations marked the first International Day for Equal Pay on 18 September 2020. This year, for its second edition, the debate will focus on ensuring that equal pay remains at the centre of the response to the pandemic and recognition of women's major contribution to economic recovery.

Richtlinie über die Blaue Karte der EU

08-09-2021

Die Anwerbung hochqualifizierter Zuwanderer in Europa gehört seit mehreren Jahren zu den wichtigsten Prioritäten der EU. Bislang war die EU jedoch nicht so erfolgreich wie andere OECD-Länder. Die Nachfrage nach Arbeitskräften wird aufgrund des zunehmenden Mangels an bestimmten Kompetenzen und der Alterung der Bevölkerung der EU voraussichtlich zunehmen. Eine im Jahr 2016 vorgeschlagene neue Richtlinie soll die Richtlinie über die Blaue Karte von 2009 ersetzen und die Attraktivität der Migrationsregelung ...

Die Anwerbung hochqualifizierter Zuwanderer in Europa gehört seit mehreren Jahren zu den wichtigsten Prioritäten der EU. Bislang war die EU jedoch nicht so erfolgreich wie andere OECD-Länder. Die Nachfrage nach Arbeitskräften wird aufgrund des zunehmenden Mangels an bestimmten Kompetenzen und der Alterung der Bevölkerung der EU voraussichtlich zunehmen. Eine im Jahr 2016 vorgeschlagene neue Richtlinie soll die Richtlinie über die Blaue Karte von 2009 ersetzen und die Attraktivität der Migrationsregelung der EU für hochqualifizierte Arbeitskräfte steigern. Auf seiner Plenartagung im September soll das Europäische Parlament in erster Lesung über den endgültigen Text, der aus den interinstitutionellen Verhandlungen hervorgegangen ist, abstimmen.

Revision of the EU Blue Card Directive

15-07-2021

Attracting highly qualified immigrants to Europe has been one of the EU's key priorities for several years. However, up until now the EU has not been as successful as other OECD countries. This demand for workers is expected to increase due to the increasing shortage of certain skills and the aging of the EU's population. The proposed directive, which would replace the 2009 Blue Card Directive, increases the attractiveness of the EU highly skilled migration scheme by expanding its scope, lowering ...

Attracting highly qualified immigrants to Europe has been one of the EU's key priorities for several years. However, up until now the EU has not been as successful as other OECD countries. This demand for workers is expected to increase due to the increasing shortage of certain skills and the aging of the EU's population. The proposed directive, which would replace the 2009 Blue Card Directive, increases the attractiveness of the EU highly skilled migration scheme by expanding its scope, lowering criteria for admission or expanding the rights of beneficiaries. On 15 June 2017, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) adopted its report, and voted to open interinstitutional negotiations. After the Council agreed its mandate, trilogue meetings started in September 2017, but little progress was made before the end of the 2014-2019 parliamentary term. In October 2019, Parliament decided to resume work on the file in the context of ‘unfinished business’ to be carried over to the new legislature. The European Commission’s ‘New Pact on Migration and Asylum’, presented on 23 September 2020, stressed the need to finalise the negotiations. On 17 May 2021, the Parliament and the Portuguese Presidency of the EU Council finally reached an interim agreement on the revision of the directive. On 21 May, Member States’ ambassadors, in the Committee of Permanent Representatives, endorsed the agreement. And on 3 June, the LIBE committee also endorsed the agreement reached with the Council. Parliament is expected to vote on adopting the agreed text during the September 2021 plenary session. Third edition of a briefing originally drafted by Martina Prpic. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Understanding EU action on Roma inclusion

28-05-2021

The Roma are Europe's largest ethnic minority. Out of an estimated total of 10 to12 million Roma in Europe, some 6 million live in the European Union (EU), most of whom are citizens of an EU Member State. A significant number of Roma people live in very poor socio-economic conditions. The social exclusion, discrimination and segregation they face are mutually reinforcing. Their restricted access to education, and difficulties in entering the labour market, result in low income and poor health compared ...

The Roma are Europe's largest ethnic minority. Out of an estimated total of 10 to12 million Roma in Europe, some 6 million live in the European Union (EU), most of whom are citizens of an EU Member State. A significant number of Roma people live in very poor socio-economic conditions. The social exclusion, discrimination and segregation they face are mutually reinforcing. Their restricted access to education, and difficulties in entering the labour market, result in low income and poor health compared with non-Roma people. Since the mid-1990s, the European Union has stressed the need for better Roma inclusion. In 2011, a key EU initiative emerged with the adoption of an EU framework for national Roma integration strategies up to 2020, aimed at tackling the socio-economic exclusion of, and discrimination against, Roma by promoting equal access in four key areas: education, employment, health, and housing. As the framework had come to an end, the Commission adopted 'A union of equality: EU Roma strategic framework for equality, inclusion and participation' (2021 2030) in early October 2020. Through this new strategy, Member States are invited to tackle the disproportionate impact of the pandemic. In March 2021, the Council adopted a recommendation on Roma equality, inclusion and participation, replacing an earlier one from 2013. This recommendation encourages Member States to adopt strategic frameworks for the inclusion of Roma communities and to communicate them to the Commission by September 2021. The EU also supports Member States in their duty to improve the lives of all vulnerable people, including Roma people, through the European structural and investment funds and other funding instruments. Issues related to the promotion of democratic values and practices towards Roma, as well as their economic, social and cultural rights, have received particular attention from civil society organisations, while Parliament has advocated for Roma since the 1990s.

The impact of the coronavirus crisis on Roma and Travellers

23-03-2021

The EU's Roma and Traveller communities are among those most at risk of contracting Covid-19. This only adds to the multiple difficulties they face as regards employment, education, housing and health, compounded by discrimination and anti-Gypsyism. To tackle this situation, the European Commission has introduced targeted measures and provided financial support. The European Parliament has repeatedly expressed its deep concern about the conditions of the Roma and people of other backgrounds during ...

The EU's Roma and Traveller communities are among those most at risk of contracting Covid-19. This only adds to the multiple difficulties they face as regards employment, education, housing and health, compounded by discrimination and anti-Gypsyism. To tackle this situation, the European Commission has introduced targeted measures and provided financial support. The European Parliament has repeatedly expressed its deep concern about the conditions of the Roma and people of other backgrounds during the ongoing pandemic.

The coronavirus crisis: An emerging gender divide?

02-03-2021

The European Union remains severely hit by the coronavirus crisis, whose impact extends far beyond public health. The economic, social and psychological consequences of the pandemic are at the forefront of Member States’ and EU institutions’ concerns. Employment and working conditions have undergone major upheavals, raising the issue of a possible reversal of progress on gender equality. This infographic aims to shed light on the socioeconomic and psychological impacts of the pandemic on women, through ...

The European Union remains severely hit by the coronavirus crisis, whose impact extends far beyond public health. The economic, social and psychological consequences of the pandemic are at the forefront of Member States’ and EU institutions’ concerns. Employment and working conditions have undergone major upheavals, raising the issue of a possible reversal of progress on gender equality. This infographic aims to shed light on the socioeconomic and psychological impacts of the pandemic on women, through the lens of the transformation of the labour market, work-life balance and well-being. It is based on Eurostat data and a study conducted by Eurofound on living and working in the times of Covid-19.

Fair minimum wages in the EU - Pre-legislative synthesis of national, regional and local positions on the European Commission's initiative

26-10-2020

This briefing forms part of an EPRS series offering syntheses of the pre-legislative state of play and consultation on key European Commission priorities during the current five-year term. It summarises the state of affairs in the relevant policy field, examines how existing policy is working on the ground, and, where possible, identifies best practice and ideas for the future on the part of governmental organisations at all levels of European system of multilevel governance. Based on EPRS analysis ...

This briefing forms part of an EPRS series offering syntheses of the pre-legislative state of play and consultation on key European Commission priorities during the current five-year term. It summarises the state of affairs in the relevant policy field, examines how existing policy is working on the ground, and, where possible, identifies best practice and ideas for the future on the part of governmental organisations at all levels of European system of multilevel governance. Based on EPRS analysis, partner organisations at European, national, regional and local levels point to the following main considerations that they consider should shape discussion of the forthcoming initiative on fair minimum wages for workers in the EU: • There are fears regarding the implications of the EU initiative for the respective national systems, with the various stakeholders suggesting a cautious approach as part of what could prove to be a long-term discussion. A complex differentiated approach with several safeguards, adapted to the respective systems in place, would appear to be key to avoiding an initiative with only minimal ambitions. • A broad consensus is observed regarding the need to reinforce the social partners; strengthening social dialogue and promoting collective bargaining should be used as an opportunity to explore ambitious measures in this area. • The unresolved debate on the effects of higher minimum wages on the economy and employment situation underlines the need for detailed and regular analysis, including by means of greater use of impact assessment tools. This would be valuable in order to prevent negative consequences and demonstrate the added value of EU action. • Some specific (complementary) instruments deserve to be considered, such as the country-specific recommendations of the European Semester and public procurement procedures.

Minimum wage in the EU

19-10-2020

In 2020, most European Union (EU) Member States have a statutory minimum wage (21 of 27), while six others have wage levels determined though collective bargaining. Expressed in euros, monthly minimum wages vary widely across the EU ranging from €312 in Bulgaria to €2 142 in Luxembourg (July 2020). The disparities are significantly smaller when price level differences are eliminated. Expressed in purchasing power standard, the minimum wage ranges from PPS 547 in Latvia to PPS 1 634 in Luxembourg. ...

In 2020, most European Union (EU) Member States have a statutory minimum wage (21 of 27), while six others have wage levels determined though collective bargaining. Expressed in euros, monthly minimum wages vary widely across the EU ranging from €312 in Bulgaria to €2 142 in Luxembourg (July 2020). The disparities are significantly smaller when price level differences are eliminated. Expressed in purchasing power standard, the minimum wage ranges from PPS 547 in Latvia to PPS 1 634 in Luxembourg. The question of setting a minimum wage is one of the most analysed and debated topics in economics. Over recent years and in the context of the economic and social crisis engendered by the Covid 19 outbreak, the creation of a European minimum wage is increasingly considered as a useful instrument to ensure fair wages and social inclusion. In November 2017, the EU institutions jointly proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights, setting out the European Union's commitment to fair wages for workers. Since then, the European Commission has shown its willingness to address this issue. In particular, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated in her political guidelines that she will propose a legal instrument to ensure that every worker in the Union has a fair minimum wage. Such minimum wages should be set according to national traditions, through collective agreements or legal provisions. On 14 January 2020, the Commission launched the first phase of consultation with social partners on fair minimum wages for workers in the EU, to gather social partners' views on the possible direction of EU action. Based on the replies received, the Commission concluded that there is a need for EU action. The second phase of consultation was launched on 3 June 2020; with a deadline of 4 September 2020 for social partners to provide their opinion. A Commission proposal is expected by the end of 2020. The European Trade Union Confederation welcomed the European Commission's initiative and called for the Commission to propose a directive. Conversely, employers' organisations believe wage-setting should be left to social partners at national level. In their view, if the Commission wished to act, only an EU Council recommendation would be acceptable. The European Parliament has often debated the issue of low income and minimum income over the last decade, advocating a more inclusive economy.

Impact of coronavirus on EU aid to the most deprived

04-06-2020

Around 24 million people in the EU, or 5.6 % of the population, are 'severely materially deprived'. Fighting poverty and social exclusion is therefore a key priority, and to this end the EU supplements its Member States' aid to those most in need through the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD), which has a budget of €3.8 billion. Partner organisations selected by the Member States manage this support, providing food (e.g. distribution of food packages and meals) and material assistance ...

Around 24 million people in the EU, or 5.6 % of the population, are 'severely materially deprived'. Fighting poverty and social exclusion is therefore a key priority, and to this end the EU supplements its Member States' aid to those most in need through the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD), which has a budget of €3.8 billion. Partner organisations selected by the Member States manage this support, providing food (e.g. distribution of food packages and meals) and material assistance (e.g. clothes), or activities to improve inclusion (e.g. better access to support and social services) to those in need. In parallel, the European Social Fund (ESF) remains the broader funding instrument fighting poverty and social exclusion. The coronavirus crisis poses specific risks for the most deprived and unparalleled challenges for the activities supported by the FEAD and the ESF. To safeguard the most vulnerable, and aid workers and volunteers, against the coronavirus disease, emergency measures have been taken to provide them with protective equipment. Changes, launched in April 2020, have sought to adapt the FEAD to the challenging situation. For instance, electronic vouchers have been introduced to deliver food aid and basic material assistance, to reduce the risk of contamination during delivery. Furthermore, FEAD money has been made available for buying protective equipment for those delivering the aid. Yet again, partner organisations and other players involved in the implementation of the FEAD have been enabled to quickly address the additional needs of the most deprived arising from the crisis. During the crisis, the fund will be 100 % EU-financed, including the 15 % normally paid by the Member States. Moreover, to face the acute labour crisis and its social consequences on the most deprived, the EU has taken initiatives to address immediate needs and mitigate negative impacts on employment and social policy, including measures to support the most vulnerable or deprived groups. Since the onset of the pandemic, the European Parliament has been at the forefront of initiatives to protect the most deprived.

Employment and disability in the European Union

27-05-2020

Approximately one in six people in the European Union (EU) aged 15 and over lives with some kind of disability. Even if there has been an overall improvement in the employment situation of persons with disabilities in the EU (given the increase in employment rates), they still remain among the most disadvantaged groups as regards employment. This phenomenon considerably affects the EU's social integration ability and economic growth. Alongside and in support of Member States' policies, the EU has ...

Approximately one in six people in the European Union (EU) aged 15 and over lives with some kind of disability. Even if there has been an overall improvement in the employment situation of persons with disabilities in the EU (given the increase in employment rates), they still remain among the most disadvantaged groups as regards employment. This phenomenon considerably affects the EU's social integration ability and economic growth. Alongside and in support of Member States' policies, the EU has introduced a series of legal provisions, initiatives, actions and strategies to improve the employment situation of disabled people. In 2010, the EU signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which is a legally binding international treaty. According to the CRPD, the right to work and employment is a fundamental right (Article 27). The main instrument supporting the CRPD's implementation in the EU is the European disability strategy 2010-2020. Its overall aim is to empower people with disabilities so that they can enjoy their full rights, participate in society and have equal access to employment as others. Since 2017, the European Pillar of Social Rights has provided further impetus to the active social inclusion of people with disabilities. In relation to the European disability strategy 2010-2020, the European Pillar of Social Rights and the European Semester (established in 2010 as an annual cycle for economic, social and fiscal policy coordination), the EU supports a number of initiatives designed to assist disabled people as regards employment. These include: non-discrimination, workplace adaptations, public employment services, accessibility, financial incentives and EU funding. Since the early 1980s, the European Parliament has given priority to combating all forms of discrimination against disabled people, in particular, as regards employment. Academics and stakeholders share the view that tackling any kind of discrimination against, and fostering the active inclusion of, people with disabilities in the labour market are equally important for the EU's economy and society.

Anstehende Veranstaltungen

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EPRS online Book Talk with David Harley: Inside the room - Shaping Europe, 1992-2010
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Putting the 'e' in e-health
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Turning the tide on cancer: the national parliaments' view on Europe's Cancer Plan
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