“Focusing exclusively on growth and assuming that its benefits will automatically trickle down,” the report says, “may undermine growth in the long run.” But, policies that help in “limiting or—ideally—reversing the long-run rise in inequality would not only make societies less unfair, but also richer.” Specific policies discussed include “raising marginal tax rates on the rich … improving tax compliance, eliminating or scaling back tax deductions that tend to benefit higher earners disproportionately, and … reassessing the role of taxes on all forms of property and wealth.”
All EU countries have presented comprehensive Youth Guarantee Implementation Plans, complying with the deadlines set by the European Council.
The plans identify precisely the measures to be taken to implement the Youth Guarantee. They outline the timeframe for youth employment reforms and measures, the roles of public authorities and other organisations, and how it will be financed.
Please see the country fiches for a detailed assessment of the Youth Guarantee implementation in each country.
Further policy is needed to return to self-sustaining growth. The European Commission today adopted country-specific economic policy recommendations for 2015 and 2016 asking for national actions to create jobs and stimulate growth.
Long-term unemployment accounts for a much bigger share of the total than usual. Millions who would like full-time jobs are having to work part time. And millions more have given up looking for work and are no longer part of the count.
First, the government should do more to help unemployed workers search for new jobs — and not just in the places where they already happen to live. Studies comparing policies in a range of industrialized countries find that job-search assistance — in the form of job-brokerage services, referrals to training programs and help with the costs of relocating — is good value for money. It makes a difference and it’s cheap.
Subsidies for training or retraining also make sense, so long as they’re carefully designed. This involves bigger outlays, but good training programs can pass the cost-effectiveness test.
The Social Europe guide is a bi-annual publication aimed at providing an interested but not necessarily specialised audience with a concise overview of specific areas of EU policy in the field of employment, social affairs and inclusion. It illustrates the key issues and challenges, explains policy actions and instru¬ments at EU level and provides examples of best practices from EU Member States. It also presents views on the subject from the Council Presidency and the European Parliament.
Volume 7 focuses on EU funding instruments used to help people into employment or out of poverty and social exclusion. The guide outlines the aims and objectives of four specific funds: the European Social Fund (ESF); the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD); the EU programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI); and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF).
There is a particular focus on priorities for the EU’s new financial period, which runs from 2014-2020, and on how these funds will support Europe 2020, the EU’s economic strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
My second point is that we cannot make job creation the real priority without changing the prevailing macroeconomic paradigm. The model of economic and monetary union we inherited did not create strong foundations for either economic prosperity or social cohesion. Instead it has brought us the so-called process of ‘internal devaluation’, which contradicts many of the principles the EU should stand for. We need to build a genuine “EMU 2.0”, reshaping not only the general macroeconomic model but also the macroeconomic dimension of employment policy.Many adjustments are necessary to correct existing macroeconomic imbalances and reallocate labour to more productive and sustainable activities, these adjustments cannot be one-sided, and aggregate demand must not be ignored in this process. Our economies will only pick up if there are enough people working, earning and spending. In other words, we need to remember that putting people to productive work creates growth. We also have to restore labour’s share in total income.
This is why, in the April 2012 Employment Package, we have sought to rebalance the EU’s employment strategy to develop the demand side of it.
In particular, the Package focuses on stepping up job creation by using a mix of policy measures acting on the demand side, such as cost determinants (taxes, subsidies, wages), EU structural funding and development of key job-rich sectors, notably the green economy, ICT and healthcare sectors.
A good starting point for deploying demand-side measures is to consider what the economic and social needs over the coming years will be, and whether enough labour is employed to address these needs.