Employment and Social Developments in Europe review: why social fairness and solidarity are more important than ever

Credit: Unsplash

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


Today, the Commission’s services have published the 2020 edition of the Employment and Social Developments in Europe (ESDE) review dedicated to the theme of social fairness and solidarity. The review provides evidence-based analysis on how to achieve greater fairness across the EU in the face of crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic as well as structural changes due to demographic ageing, and the green and digital transitions.

Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit said: “The ESDE report shows that strengthening social fairness is key to overcoming the crisis. This requires putting people front and centre. To ensure resilience, solidarity and cohesion, the EU’s response has to prioritise employment, reduce inequalities and ensure equal opportunities. The effective implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights will serve as our guide.”

The review notes that the COVID-19 pandemic is having profound health, economic, employment and social effects, threatening much of the progress that the EU had achieved previously. All Member States are experiencing a greater economic shock than in 2008-2009. Economic output has contracted sharply and unemployment is on the rise. The most vulnerable persons, including Europe’s youth, are hit particularly hard.

Against this background, the ESDE report points to the following findings:

  • Adequate minimum wages and minimum income can have a beneficial effect on the social mobility of Europeans.
  • Strengthening social fairness, including through investments in people, pays off. Closing gender-related gaps brings particularly high returns, while extending working lives, and raising educational attainment also have positive effects.
  • Structural change, such as the green transition, has to be accompanied by social measures to be successful. Notably, this transition requires social investment in the form of re-skilling programmes and/or unemployment benefits. According to ESDE, this social investment could amount to €20 billion or more until 2030.
  • Short-time work schemes are protecting jobs effectively. The EU is helping Member States to provide such support through solidarity mechanisms like the instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE).
  • Social dialogue and collective bargaining influence fairness and its perception at the workplace by promoting more equitable wages, better working conditions and more inclusive labour markets.

More generally, to repair the damage done by COVID-19 and prepare an economy and society for a future of faster structural changes, the EU and Member States need to embrace fully the opportunities offered by the transition to a greener, digitalised economy and build inclusiveness, solidarity and resilience into the design of all policies. Ensuring a broad-based recovery is a key policy objective of our policy action, which will help strengthen social resilience in the longer run.

Background

The annual Employment and Social Developments in Europe review prepared by the Directorate-General of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, provides up-to-date economic analysis of employment and social trends in Europe and discusses related policy options. It is the European Commission’s analytical flagship report in the area of employment and social affairs, mandated by Articles 151, 159 and 161 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

There are many examples in which the Commission focuses on addressing the challenges raised in the yearly ESDE reports. In April 2020, the Commission proposed the SURE instrument, which will provide €100 billion in financial support to help protect jobs and workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In May 2020, the Commission put forward a powerful, modern and revamped long-term EU budget boosted by NextGenerationEU, an emergency temporary recovery instrument, to help repair the economic and social damage brought by the coronavirus pandemic, kickstart the recovery and prepare for a better future for the next generation. The Recovery and Resilience Facility will be one of EU’s main recovery tools, providing an unprecedented €672.5 billion of loans and grants in frontloaded financial support for the crucial first years of the recovery. The European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) will continue to invest in people, while an improved European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) will be able to intervene even more effectively to support workers who have lost their jobs. The European Pillar of Social Rights and its upcoming Action Plan, as well as initiatives and tools such as the European Skills Agenda, the Youth Employment Support initiative or the Digital Europe Programme will all contribute to address challenges identified in the ESDE.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The three US financial war fleets

‘Moral obligation and political imperative’ to support Syria on path to peace: Guterres

Combatting terrorism: EP special committee calls for closer EU cooperation

Migrants and refugees face higher risk of developing ill-health, says UN report on displaced people in Europe

Veteran UN Syria Envoy to step down, pledges to work ‘until the last hour’ for peace

Dozens killed and injured by new airstrikes in western Yemen, UN coordinator condemns ‘outrageous’ toll

Cross-border cooperation: the EU Interreg programme celebrates 30 years of bringing citizens closer together

Commission adopts €4 billion investment package for infrastructure projects across 10 Member States

The EU resumes budget support assistance to the Republic of Moldova

EU Parliament approves CETA: the EU-Canada free trade deal sees the light in Trump’s gloomy era

Revamp collective bargaining to prevent rising labour market inequalities in rapidly changing world of work

Seize the opportunities of digital technology to improve well-being but also address the risks

The influence of the multilateral agreement on migrant health

Russia must urgently step up fight against foreign bribery

Achieving a European Education Area by 2025 and resetting education and training for the digital age

Light at the end of the Eurozone tunnel

European Business Summit 2015: In search of a vision for the future

The most unlikely innovators are changing ICT for development – it’s time we took notice

These photos show some of the world’s smallest things massively magnified

Harmonised Unemployment Rates (HURs), OECD – Updated: February 2020

Quality Education on the table at the European Parliament

We need to rethink neuroscience. And you can help us

State aid: Commission approves €300 million public support for the development of ultrafast broadband network in Greece

A long German political winter is on the way

Greece will probably stay in the Eurozone but at what cost?

The Parliament accuses core EU countries of exploiting their dominant political position

Visa facilitation and readmission: agreements with Belarus now in force

Microplastics, microbeads and single-use plastics poisoning sea life and affecting humans, says UN Environment

Busting the myths about coronavirus

Why education and accountability are important for developing countries?

Governments, businesses ‘walk the talk’ for investment in sustainable development: UN forum

Germany caught with selfish double standards in euro area policy

COVID-19 has hit Black Americans hardest. Healing this divide would lift the nation

“Be aware where you put your I Agree signature on and something else”; now Facebook by default opts you in an unseen private data bazar

Guterres lauds UN peacekeeping, highlights need to bridge ‘critical’ gaps

France pushes UK to stay and Germany to pay

The clothes of the future could be made from pineapples and bananas

COVID-19 not yet a pandemic, says UN health agency chief

Which EU countries have to correct their economic policies?

Mental Health in the COVID-19 era

EU fundamental rights under threat in several member states

Why income inequality is bad for the climate

What options the new President of Ukraine has?

“China is the only BRICS country to have either met or possibly slightly surpassed my expectations”, BRICS inventor Jim O’ Neil from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

The right approach to addressing overcapacity problem from a Chinese perspective

Sustainable Infrastructure and Connectivity in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): a stimulating China-EU dialogue at European Business Summit 2018

Three scenarios for the future of geopolitics

4 innovative renewable energy projects powering Europe’s green future

Media and entertainment in flux: it’s time for the close-up

FROM THE FIELD: Finding refuge in the ‘beautiful game’

Our tourism system is broken – time to customize

Jordan flash flooding: UN chief ‘saddened’ by loss of life

Is corporation tax good or bad for growth?

Impacting society with digital ingenuity – World Summit Award proclaiming the top 8 worldwide

VP McGuinness on women’s rights: “Not an option, but a duty”

Banks get trillions and the unemployed ECB’s love…

The Eurogroup protects Germany and blames others

How one traumatised child survived genocide and started a movement for mental health

United States: UN chief ‘deeply saddened’ by deadly California wildfires

New UN-Syrian Action Plan signals an ‘important day’ for child protection, says UN envoy

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s