The “local” dimension of the Europe 2020 strategy should be fully developed given that many decisions/policies regarding employment, social exclusion and growth are decided by local authorities;
In order to fight unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, the second phase of the Europe 2020 strategy should focus on the transition education-work, supporting training, initial education and skill policies;
To increase the potential of new jobs, the Europe 2020 Strategy and the related Employment Guidelines should strengthen policies focused on “green” jobs and “white” jobs (social services to people) that could expand the possibilities of employment in all European countries
The final Council text on the guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States 2015, adopted by the EPSCO Council on 5 October 2015, takes on board a large number of legislative amendments suggested by the CoR, some even word-by-word, and several broader suggestions from the general policy recommendations.
In particular, CoR amendments concerning integrated multilateral surveillance not only of economic and budgetary, but also employment and social policies within the framework of the European Semester, were added to the final text, as well as CoR amendments concerning Member States' investment in life-long learning and long-term care, and a note about Member States needing to prevent the 'brain drain' from certain regions, in the context of labour mobility. A specific mention of active inclusion measures, accessible quality services and adequate income support in order to prevent social exclusion were added to the final Council text, in line with the amendment suggested in the CoR opinion. Moreover, following a CoR remark, the final Council text also explicitly refers to women's participation in the labour market and gender equality.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS:
- reminds the Commission that public investment by LRAs plays a key role in encouraging economic growth. Such investment should therefore be included fully in the new European investment policy set out in the Junker Plan;
- endorses the suitability of the Europe 2020 Strategy's three pillars relating to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and the relevance of the key indicators selected. The Committee calls, however, for the introduction of a "territorial dimension" for Europe 2020, setting targets for the local and regional level;
- notes that the Employment Policy Guidelines do not mention the potential of "green" and "blue" jobs in tackling unemployment in Europe;
- underlines the importance of matching skills with labour market needs and in this regard highlights the role that LRAs play in forecasting these needs and matching them with labour market needs through measures in the areas of education, training and support for young entrepreneurs in particular.