Tag Archives: employment

Commission Proposes Increase of EU Funds Co-Financing for Six Countires

The European Commission has proposed to increase the co-financing rates for the EU funds for six EU countries that have been affected by the crisis.

Under the proposal, six countries would be asked to contribute less to projects that they currently co-finance with the European Union. The supplementary EU co financing is designated for Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Latvia and Hungary.

The measure does not represent new or additional funding but it allows an earlier reimbursement of funds already committed under EU cohesion policy, rural development and fisheries. The EU contribution would be increased to a maximum of 95% if requested by a Member State concerned. This should be accompanied by a prioritisation of projects focusing on growth and employment, such as retraining workers, setting up business clusters or investing in transport infrastructure. In this way level of execution can be increased, absorption augmented and extra money injected into the economy faster.

It concerns Member States that have been most affected by the crisis and have received financial support under a programme from the Balance of Payments mechanism for countries not in the Euro area (Romania, Latvia and Hungary) or from the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism for countries in the Euro area (Greece, Ireland and Portugal). Bulgaria is not included in this scheme.



Draft Joint Employment Report 2009

The European Commission presents the draft Joint Employment Report 2009. The draft report will be discussed by Employment and Social Affairs Ministers in the Council early in 2010 and when adopted, will become a joint report by the Commission and the Member States.

The report says that developments since mid-2008 are marked by falling demand for new workers (around -30%), employment contraction (-1.9% = 4.3 million jobs), and rising unemployment especially among groups already in a relatively weaker labour market situation before the crisis (young people, low-skilled, migrants).

The Commission identifies three broad challenges for employment policies in which the crisis measures will need to be adjusted within the framework of ongoing structural reforms:

  • The need to reinforce existing crisis measures – the key is to focus on improving the effectiveness of these measures.
  • The need to re-orient crisis measures – the key issue is to reduce inactivity and unemployment traps while ensuring income security for those most in need and those experiencing transitions.
  • The need to phase out crisis measures – the focus is on structural reforms.

Racial Discrimination Rampant in the EU

The European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights shows that discrimination on the basis of ethnicity is a major problem for many minorities in the EU.

Employment is the main domain where minorities experience the greatest levels of discriminatory treatment.

The Roma, Sub-Saharan Africans and North Africans face very high levels of discrimination in their everyday lives.

Long-Term Financial Risks for Member States

The European Commission has issued a report on the sustainability of public finances in Member States. The report groups countries based on their medium- and long-term risk profiles.

To my surprise Bulgaria is in the lowest risk group together with Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Sweden. The countries whose public finances are most at risk in the medium term are Ireland, Greece, Latvia, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The report proposes a policy framework for improving the sustainability of public finances that includes:

  • Deficit and debt reduction;
  • Increasing employment rates;
  • Reform of pension and healthcare systems.