29

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European Social Fund Plus (2021-2027)

02-06-2021

The European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) is an important element of the 'cohesion, resilience and values' heading of the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF). ESF+ mainly contributes to the policy cluster investing in people, citizens and values. The European Parliament is expected to vote at second reading during the June I plenary session on the agreed text resulting from interinstitutional negotiations on the ESF+ regulation.

The European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) is an important element of the 'cohesion, resilience and values' heading of the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF). ESF+ mainly contributes to the policy cluster investing in people, citizens and values. The European Parliament is expected to vote at second reading during the June I plenary session on the agreed text resulting from interinstitutional negotiations on the ESF+ regulation.

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.

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund

21-04-2021

The 2018 European Commission's proposal to revise the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, modified under the 2020 recovery plan for Europe, introduces changes to eligibility criteria, co-financing rules and the mobilisation procedure. Outside the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) ceilings, it should continue to serve as a solidarity and emergency fund used on an ad hoc basis. Following an early second-reading agreement reached in January 2021, Parliament is expected to vote in April ...

The 2018 European Commission's proposal to revise the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, modified under the 2020 recovery plan for Europe, introduces changes to eligibility criteria, co-financing rules and the mobilisation procedure. Outside the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) ceilings, it should continue to serve as a solidarity and emergency fund used on an ad hoc basis. Following an early second-reading agreement reached in January 2021, Parliament is expected to vote in April to formally adopt the proposal.

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.

The right to disconnect

13-01-2021

In the context of the digital transformation in the world of work, the European Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee has adopted a legislative-initiative report calling on the Commission to propose an EU directive that lays down minimum requirements for the right to disconnect. The practice of remote working through digital tools intensified through the coronavirus lockdown measures has drawn increasing attention to the issues of constant connectivity and the blurring boundaries between ...

In the context of the digital transformation in the world of work, the European Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee has adopted a legislative-initiative report calling on the Commission to propose an EU directive that lays down minimum requirements for the right to disconnect. The practice of remote working through digital tools intensified through the coronavirus lockdown measures has drawn increasing attention to the issues of constant connectivity and the blurring boundaries between working and non-working time. Parliament is expected to vote on this legislative initiative during its January 2021 plenary session.

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.

Social governance in the European Union: Managing complex systems

12-05-2020

Whereas economic governance is now undertaken in the EU through a regulated, 'hard' framework, there is no equivalent framework for social governance. At present, social governance in the EU functions mainly within the 'soft', unregulated realms, although it is also marked by some 'hard' governance mechanisms. This paper aims to give an overview of the social aspects of EU governance. It looks at existing EU social governance mechanisms and tools, including their current state of play, the debates ...

Whereas economic governance is now undertaken in the EU through a regulated, 'hard' framework, there is no equivalent framework for social governance. At present, social governance in the EU functions mainly within the 'soft', unregulated realms, although it is also marked by some 'hard' governance mechanisms. This paper aims to give an overview of the social aspects of EU governance. It looks at existing EU social governance mechanisms and tools, including their current state of play, the debates that surround them and possible avenues for their further development. It is an updated and revised edition of a publication from November 2017: PE 614.579.

Upcoming events

29-11-2021
The Mutual Defence Clause (Article 42(7) TEU) in the face of new threats
Hearing -
SEDE
29-11-2021
Competitiveness of EU agriculture
Hearing -
AGRI
30-11-2021
Eliminating Violence against Women - Inter-parliamentary committee meeting
Other event -
FEMM

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