At the informal meeting of Ministers for Employment and Social Affairs, held in Nicosia (CY) on 12 and 13 July, CoR President Mercedes Bresso underlined the need to address the dramatic problem of unemployment through a real and ambitious partnership among central and local governments, regions, unions, enterprises and NGOs. "If we really want to effectively address unemployment, we need a tailored approach, based on a real knowledge of the local labour markets and of the needs to be considered when planning our interventions to combating discrimination and social exclusion and promoting quality employment".
A top down approach would imply the risk of a miss-match between local priorities and training opportunities and incentives provided by governments. In this perspective, according to Bresso, territorial pacts represent a consistent tool to be adopted more and more in tackling the crisis and in the programming of structural funds 2014-2020.
During the debate, CoR President raised the question of the weak awareness of several central governments about the actual role of local and regional authorities in the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy, also on the basis of the outcome of Second CoR Monitoring Report presenting clear evidence of the current situation. "The Commission's proposal for the regulation on the structural funds states clearly that Member States should organise a partnership with all local and regional authorities and with social partners" reiterated Bresso.
The discussion among EU Ministers of Employment, social partners, Non-Governmental Organisations and local authorities brought a significant contribution to a common understanding of how to increase cooperation in boosting Europe’s employment and fighting poverty and social exclusion.