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European Pillar of Social Rights: Gothenburg, Porto and beyond

07-05-2021

The proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (social pillar) by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council in November 2017 was the fourth major attempt to strengthen the social dimension of the European Union since its inception. The social pillar is to be the fifth pillar of the economic and monetary union. It is to serve as a compass for updating the EU's welfare states and labour markets to the new realities of life and work in the 21st century. Its holistic ...

The proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (social pillar) by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council in November 2017 was the fourth major attempt to strengthen the social dimension of the European Union since its inception. The social pillar is to be the fifth pillar of the economic and monetary union. It is to serve as a compass for updating the EU's welfare states and labour markets to the new realities of life and work in the 21st century. Its holistic approach puts upward social convergence at its centre and can help to put economic and social considerations and rights across EU policies on a more equal footing. Its implementation has mainly been the task of the Member States in strong collaboration with the social partners and with the support of the European Union. The social pillar's very broad interpretation of the social dimension, pointing beyond social and employment policies, means that it has been regarded by some simply as the starting point for new initiatives in a number of policy fields, and by others as a potential game-changer that can bring about a genuinely new policy dynamic around the EU's social dimension. The new action plan on the further implementation of the social pillar's principles continues along this complex path. It also proposes three new headline targets and the redesign of the social scoreboard to make monitoring of the implementation process more detailed and accurate. At the Porto Social Summit to be held on 7-8 May 2021 the action plan will be one of the major inputs into discussions on the social aspects of medium- to long-term recovery from the coronavirus crisis, including unemployment, education and training, social protection and poverty. The objectives include clarifying issues around: the enforceability of the social pillar's principles and rights, how to achieve a genuine European social protection floor for all, and governance, monitoring and funding in the context of the EU social dimension.

Europäischer Fonds für die Anpassung an die Globalisierung

21-04-2021

Mit dem Vorschlag zur Überarbeitung des Europäischen Fonds für die Anpassung an die Globalisierung, der von der Kommission 2018 vorgelegt und im Rahmen des Aufbauplans für Europa von 2020 geändert wurde, werden Änderungen an den Kriterien für die Förderfähigkeit, den Kofinanzierungsvorschriften und dem Verfahren für die Inanspruchnahme vorgenommen. Außerhalb der Obergrenzen des Mehrjährigen Finanzrahmens (MFR) 2021–2027 sollte er weiterhin als Solidaritäts- und Nothilfefonds dienen und auf Ad-hoc-Basis ...

Mit dem Vorschlag zur Überarbeitung des Europäischen Fonds für die Anpassung an die Globalisierung, der von der Kommission 2018 vorgelegt und im Rahmen des Aufbauplans für Europa von 2020 geändert wurde, werden Änderungen an den Kriterien für die Förderfähigkeit, den Kofinanzierungsvorschriften und dem Verfahren für die Inanspruchnahme vorgenommen. Außerhalb der Obergrenzen des Mehrjährigen Finanzrahmens (MFR) 2021–2027 sollte er weiterhin als Solidaritäts- und Nothilfefonds dienen und auf Ad-hoc-Basis eingesetzt werden. Nach einer Einigung in einem frühen Stadium der zweiten Lesung, die im Januar 2021 erzielt wurde, soll das Parlament den Vorschlag im April förmlich annehmen.

Economic and Budgetary Outlook for the European Union 2021

28-01-2021

This study, the fifth in an annual series, provides an overview of the economic and budgetary situation in the EU and beyond, and summarises the main economic indicators in the EU and euro area and their two-year trends. It also explains the annual EU budget, provides an overview of its headings for 2021, and sets out the wider budgetary framework – the post-2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF) and the Next Generation EU recovery instrument. This year's special 'economic focus' puts the spotlight ...

This study, the fifth in an annual series, provides an overview of the economic and budgetary situation in the EU and beyond, and summarises the main economic indicators in the EU and euro area and their two-year trends. It also explains the annual EU budget, provides an overview of its headings for 2021, and sets out the wider budgetary framework – the post-2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF) and the Next Generation EU recovery instrument. This year's special 'economic focus' puts the spotlight on EU social and employment policies in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.

Das Recht auf Nichterreichbarkeit

13-01-2021

Im Zusammenhang mit dem digitalen Wandel in der Arbeitswelt hat der Ausschuss des Europäischen Parlaments für Beschäftigung und soziale Angelegenheiten einen Bericht mit einer Rechtsetzungsinitiative angenommen, in dem die Kommission aufgefordert wird, eine EU-Richtlinie mit Mindestanforderungen für das Recht auf Nichterreichbarkeit vorzuschlagen. Aufgrund der Ausgangsbeschränkungen im Zusammenhang mit dem Coronavirus nahm die Telearbeit mithilfe digitaler Werkzeuge zu, wodurch die Probleme ständiger ...

Im Zusammenhang mit dem digitalen Wandel in der Arbeitswelt hat der Ausschuss des Europäischen Parlaments für Beschäftigung und soziale Angelegenheiten einen Bericht mit einer Rechtsetzungsinitiative angenommen, in dem die Kommission aufgefordert wird, eine EU-Richtlinie mit Mindestanforderungen für das Recht auf Nichterreichbarkeit vorzuschlagen. Aufgrund der Ausgangsbeschränkungen im Zusammenhang mit dem Coronavirus nahm die Telearbeit mithilfe digitaler Werkzeuge zu, wodurch die Probleme ständiger Erreichbarkeit und verschwimmender Grenzen zwischen Arbeitszeit und arbeitsfreier Zeit zunehmend ins Blickfeld gerückt sind. Das Europäische Parlament soll auf seiner Tagung im Januar 2021 über diese Gesetzgebungsinitiative abstimmen.

Next generation or lost generation? Children, young people and the pandemic

10-12-2020

The next generation, sometimes referred to as 'Generation Z' or 'Gen Z', includes children and young people born after 1995/1996. Also known as the 'iGeneration' they are the first digital natives: they have grown up with smartphones and tablets, and most have internet access at home. While, in the EU, they are the most diverse generation when it comes to their origins, and best educated, in terms of level of education, they are the most vulnerable, including on the labour market. They are the generation ...

The next generation, sometimes referred to as 'Generation Z' or 'Gen Z', includes children and young people born after 1995/1996. Also known as the 'iGeneration' they are the first digital natives: they have grown up with smartphones and tablets, and most have internet access at home. While, in the EU, they are the most diverse generation when it comes to their origins, and best educated, in terms of level of education, they are the most vulnerable, including on the labour market. They are the generation most at risk of poverty, and worst affected by the lack of intergenerational earning mobility. In addition, they have been hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis, following school closures and also job losses. The negative trends this generation was facing prior to the pandemic solidified during the outbreak and the lockdown measures. The well-being, educational success and labour market integration of this generation have a major impact on the general well-being of society, as well as on productivity growth, and thus on the entire economy now and in the future. It will, however, be another 15 years before this generation, along with the 'Millennials' (born between 1981 and 1995/1996) form the majority in the voting age population across the EU, and their views, expectations and attitudes are taken into consideration when designing policies. In this context, policies must address Generation Z from a young age as active citizens who need to be both protected and empowered. In the von der Leyen Commission more than half the Commissioners have been entrusted with tasks that directly address challenges for this generation, ranging from access to quality education, health, housing, nutrition and labour markets to combating poverty and protecting children's and young people's rights. This is an opportunity to design comprehensive policies that cut across sectors and that address the entire generation under the age of 22/24 in a multidimensional way. It is also a way to include children and young people in the democratic process and monitor their progress across multiple indicators in relation to the United Nations sustainable development goals. Stronger pro-child and pro-youth policies can help to achieve more balanced and efficient welfare states that genuinely protect the entire population.

What future for the social economy?

11-11-2020

Traditionally the social economy is considered to be an ever-growing set of private, formally organised enterprises and networks that build on multiple types of resources and cooperation, with local anchorage and democratic and participatory decision-making processes. Its primary aim is not to make profit but to meet the needs of its members and that of the wider society. The social economy is active in an increasing number of sectors, and while some of its actors are small non-profit organisations ...

Traditionally the social economy is considered to be an ever-growing set of private, formally organised enterprises and networks that build on multiple types of resources and cooperation, with local anchorage and democratic and participatory decision-making processes. Its primary aim is not to make profit but to meet the needs of its members and that of the wider society. The social economy is active in an increasing number of sectors, and while some of its actors are small non-profit organisations, others are large organisations with international outreach. It generates 6 to 8 % of the European Union's gross domestic product (GDP). However, it is a driver not only of economic activity but also of normative values, such as solidarity and inclusion. Since its conception in the 19th century, it has taken on board innovation in social relations and in societal and community spheres, human development targets and socio-political empowerment. In the first two decades of the 21st century, with new risks and opportunities arising owing to the twin digital and green transformations there is an emerging debate, rethinking economic growth theories with more focus on inclusion and combatting inequality, and exploring the relevance of traditional welfare state models. This debate has intensified in the wake of the 2008 crisis, and now also as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and crisis. The social economy can play a central role in this context. While it has been badly affected by these crises, it also has the potential to mitigate some of the negative impacts. The social economy's values-based approach to the economy can enable it to generate new elements in the ecosystems in which it exists and be an important 'engine' in the immediate recovery and the longer-term possible restructuring of the economy towards more resilience, fairness and sustainability. For the social economy to be able to reach its full potential across the Member States and help to achieve green and inclusive growth with renewed welfare state models, it needs to be supported simultaneously at all levels. EU action can contribute to this. The main areas of EU intervention are: facilitating access to finance and markets, including the digital single market; creating better framework conditions, including for cooperation and cross-border activity; supporting innovation, including new business models; and developing international relations. The Commission action plan on the social economy expected in 2021 might address many of these issues.

Social and employment policies in Europe

10-09-2020

Whilst the disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis has affected all segments of society, some groups and geographic areas have been impacted more seriously than others. The crisis has opened up the opportunity to rethink how and what could be done differently and more efficiently over the longer term in the social and employment field at European level, including the possibility of putting social and economic considerations and rights on a more equal footing within the Union's governance framework ...

Whilst the disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis has affected all segments of society, some groups and geographic areas have been impacted more seriously than others. The crisis has opened up the opportunity to rethink how and what could be done differently and more efficiently over the longer term in the social and employment field at European level, including the possibility of putting social and economic considerations and rights on a more equal footing within the Union's governance framework. Focusing on the European Green Deal as the new growth strategy and strengthening the single market, of which social inclusion and fairness are an organic part, can help to tackle the root causes of the trends highlighted ever more strongly by the coronavirus triple crisis: health, economic and environmental. Some measures might imply changes to the Treaty base of the Union, but many can already be carried out within the current legal framework, where the European Union (EU) can function as a 'holding space' for experimentation and reform and pave the way to a truly resilient, sustainable and fair system. Such a system would then not only be able to absorb shocks but also to grow from them.

A more resilient, sustainable and fair Europe after coronavirus?

25-06-2020

The triple-crisis – the pandemic's public health and economic consequences intertwined with the underlying environmental crisis – may lead to increasing divergence, instead of convergence and cohesion among Member States, regions, generations and different groups of society across the EU and globally. However, if handled with a longer-term perspective with the aim of achieving a more resilient, sustainable and fair EU – the crisis also offers the opportunity to turn the three into the guiding principles ...

The triple-crisis – the pandemic's public health and economic consequences intertwined with the underlying environmental crisis – may lead to increasing divergence, instead of convergence and cohesion among Member States, regions, generations and different groups of society across the EU and globally. However, if handled with a longer-term perspective with the aim of achieving a more resilient, sustainable and fair EU – the crisis also offers the opportunity to turn the three into the guiding principles of the recovery. This applies as much for the content of the policies as for the process of their design and implementation, both in the short and longer terms.

Sozialpolitische Steuerung in der Europäischen Union: Regelung bei komplexen Systemen

12-05-2020

Während die wirtschaftspolitische Steuerung in der EU heute über einen regulierten zwingenden Rahmen durch¬geführt wird, gibt es für die sozialpolitische Steue¬rung keinen vergleichbaren Rahmen. Die sozialpoliti¬sche Steuerung findet sich vor allem in den nicht zwingenden unregulierten Politikbereichen, es gelten jedoch auch einige zwingende politische Steuerungs¬mechanismen. Diese Veröffentlichung soll einen Über¬blick über die sozialen Aspekte der politischen Steue¬rung in der EU bieten. Sie enthält ...

Während die wirtschaftspolitische Steuerung in der EU heute über einen regulierten zwingenden Rahmen durch¬geführt wird, gibt es für die sozialpolitische Steue¬rung keinen vergleichbaren Rahmen. Die sozialpoliti¬sche Steuerung findet sich vor allem in den nicht zwingenden unregulierten Politikbereichen, es gelten jedoch auch einige zwingende politische Steuerungs¬mechanismen. Diese Veröffentlichung soll einen Über¬blick über die sozialen Aspekte der politischen Steue¬rung in der EU bieten. Sie enthält einen Überblick über die bestehenden sozialpolitischen Steuerungs¬me¬cha¬nis¬-men und -instrumente der EU. Ferner werden deren aktueller Stand sowie die Debatten darüber und Mög-lichkeiten für ihre Weiterentwicklung beschrieben.

Collective intelligence at EU level: Social and democratic dimensions

31-03-2020

Humans are among the many living species capable of collaborative and imaginative thinking. While it is widely agreed among scholars that this capacity has contributed to making humans the dominant species, other crucial questions remain open to debate. Is it possible to encourage large groups of people to engage in collective thinking? Is it possible to coordinate citizens to find solutions to address global challenges? Some scholars claim that large groups of independent, motivated, and well-informed ...

Humans are among the many living species capable of collaborative and imaginative thinking. While it is widely agreed among scholars that this capacity has contributed to making humans the dominant species, other crucial questions remain open to debate. Is it possible to encourage large groups of people to engage in collective thinking? Is it possible to coordinate citizens to find solutions to address global challenges? Some scholars claim that large groups of independent, motivated, and well-informed people can, collectively, make better decisions than isolated individuals can – what is known as 'collective intelligence.' The social dimension of collective intelligence mainly relates to social aspects of the economy and of innovation. It shows that a holistic approach to innovation – one that includes not only technological but also social aspects – can greatly contribute to the EU's goal of promoting a just transition for everyone to a sustainable and green economy in the digital age. The EU has been taking concrete action to promote social innovation by supporting the development of its theory and practice. Mainly through funding programmes, it helps to seek new types of partners and build new capacity – and thus shape the future of local and national innovations aimed at societal needs. The democratic dimension suggests that the power of the collective can be leveraged so as to improve public decision-making systems. Supported by technology, policy-makers can harness the 'civic surplus' of citizens – thus providing smarter solutions to regulatory challenges. This is particularly relevant at EU level in view of the planned Conference on the Future of Europe, aimed at engaging communities at large and making EU decision-making more inclusive and participatory. The current coronavirus crisis is likely to change society and our economy in ways as yet too early to predict, but recovery after the crisis will require new ways of thinking and acting to overcome common challenges, and thus making use of our collective intelligence should be more urgent than ever. In the longer term, in order to mobilise collective intelligence across the EU and to fully exploit its innovative potential, the EU needs to strengthen its education policies and promote a shared understanding of a holistic approach to innovation and of collective intelligence – and thus become a 'global brain,' with a solid institutional set-up at the centre of a subsidised experimentation process that meets the challenges imposed by modern-day transformations.

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