Social Europe & Jobs

Student protest
07-07-2014

Fighting youth unemployment: an EU priority

Between 2007 and 2013, youth unemployment reached record highs across Europe, dramatically increasing from 15.7% to 23.4%, according to Eurostat. EU heads of state and government agreed in February 2013 to launch a €6 billion Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) to get more young people into work. 
28-04-2011

New skills and jobs: Mind the gap

Matching workers' skills with the demands of employers is seen as crucial to boosting employment rates, restoring growth and tackle looming labour shortages in sectors like health care, science and the green economy.

Services of General Interest in the EU

Water, energy, health, telecoms and transport are among the most widely-known examples of services that public authorities consider of general interest and subject to specific public service obligations. 
22-10-2009

Labour market reforms

In the wake of the global financial and economic crises, the EU is developing a new labour market strategy as part of its successor to the 'Lisbon Agenda' for economic, social and environmental reform, which is due to end in 2010. The new roadmap will retain many of the previous ambitions, but will also be shaped by EU leaders' exit strategies.
20-08-2009

Free movement of labour in the EU 27

Few of the EU's 'older' and wealthier member states continue to restrict access to their labour markets to workers from Eastern Europe, with Germany and Austria the only countries opting to maintain compulsory work permits until 2011.
18-09-2008

The European Pact on Immigration and Asylum

The French EU Presidency is finalising a European immigration pact which seeks to balance calls for stricter control of migratory flows with respect for developing countries and the human rights of asylum seekers.
26-08-2008

Fighting illegal immigration: The Return Directive

Faced with an ever-increasing flow of immigrants towards its borders, the EU has adopted a directive that defines procedures for the return of illegally resident third-country nationals. But the EU initiative received bad publicity in Latin America after being labelled the 'Directive of Shame'.
22-04-2008

An EU ‘Blue Card’ for high-skilled immigrants?

The EU is eager to attract high-skilled immigrants in order to fill its looming demographic crisis and related skills shortage. But experts warn that the right conditions must first be set. 
Economy & Jobs 25-01-2008

Flexicurity: Europe’s employment solution?

Flexicurity, first developed as a labour market policy in the Nordic countries, has been endorsed by EU leaders and the European Commission as a way of solving the Union's employment problem. However, as a new Commission faces up to Europe's worst recession for many decades, doubts have emerged as to how committed member states are towards flexicurity and making it work across the EU.
Health 08-11-2007

Quality of Life

Well-being and quality of life in a population, which are linked to factors such as standard of living, happiness, freedom and environmental health, are essential to economics and political science. Politicians are showing an increasing interest in developing a 'Gross National Happiness' index, similar to GDP.

e-Skills

In a joint effort, industry and the EU seek to make as many EU residents as possible computer-literate. They profit professionally and in their private lives, and the potential benefits for the economy are huge. 
13-07-2007

Equal Opportunities

In spite of the action taken at European level for eliminating discrimination, much remains to be done. In order to promote equality in the EU, 2007 was designated the ‘Year of Equal Opportunities for All’.