Jeugdwerkeloosheid, sociale voorzieningen en sociale dumping op agenda bijeenkomst Europese ministers (en)

Met dank overgenomen van Deens voorzitterschap Europese Unie 1e helft 2012, gepubliceerd op woensdag 25 april 2012.

Youth unemployment, the pressure on social services and posting of workers were on the agenda at the ministers’ informal meeting in Horsens.

Photo: Bjarke Ørsted

The high youth unemployment rate in Europe as well as the pressure on social services were subject to a lively debate when the European ministers for social affairs and employment met for an informal ministerial meeting in Horsens, Denmark. At the meeting, it was furthermore discussed how to better protect EU-citizens posted to another Member State.

More than five million young Europeans are currently outside the labour market, and in some countries, more than every second young is unemployed. With this serious background in mind, the European ministers for social affairs and employment met in Horsens to exchange experiences and good ideas on how the high unemployment among young people can be combated, and how the increasing pressure on social services can be dealt with.

The Danish Minister for Employment, Mette Frederiksen:

"The high youth unemployment in Europe is an enormous threat to our welfare and social cohesion in individual Member States and to the future for each young individual. If Europe does not act now, there is a great risk that the majority of a generation of young Europeans will never begin a decent working life. What we agreed on today is the need to improve the transition from school to work. This may among other things be achieved through the introduction of more practical elements in educational programmes. I am pleased that, at this meeting, we have looked each other in the eyes and committed ourselves to focus as much as possible on youth unemployment in the years to come.”

The Danish Minister for Social Affairs and Integration, Karen Hækkerup:

“We must make sure that, also in times of crisis, we have a social safety net that takes care of society’s most vulnerable. This is why reforms are needed in the Member States, so that the well-functioning and efficient social systems in Europe will remain intact. Over the past two days, we have had a good debate and several specific initiatives have been put forward. Among other things, we agree that we must improve the exchange of knowledge on good methods and intelligent solutions so that we will not have to reinvent the wheel over and over again”.

The Ministers also had a first discussion of the Commission’s package on posting, which aims to strengthen the social dimension of the Internal Market. The package consists of a proposal for a better enforcement of the directive on posting and the so-called Monti-II Regulation. It is the first time the Council of Ministers had the opportunity to discuss the proposal, which the Commission put forward on 21 March.

The Danish Minister for Employment, Mette Frederiksen:

We shall do everything we can to fight social dumping. First and foremost we must target bogus firms, who compete on poor conditions for their employees and thereby damage the reputation of decent firms that understand how to play by the rules. Today, we had the first discussions in the Council of Ministers, and it is widely agreed that a better enforcement of the directive on the posting of workers is needed. I am very pleased about that. However, we need further discussions of the measures needed to ensure fair competition and proper conditions for posted workers.

When it comes to Monti II, a number of theoretical questions were raised by various Member States. There is general agreement that the right to strike is important. All in all, we now have a solid basis for establishing how to best work with the Commission’s proposal for the remaining two months of the Danish Presidency.”


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