EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life
Eurofound and the Italian Presidency of the EU
Italy holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2014. The programme of activities of the Italian EU Presidency was presented by Matteo Renzi, President of the Council of Ministers, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 2 July.
In the light of the legacy of the financial and economic crisis, there is an urgent need to prevent the collapse of social cohesion and its dramatic consequences not only in social terms but also from the viewpoint of economic and democratic governance. Therefore, the Italian Presidency will focus on the following priorities: fight against poverty, the reconstruction of human capital, resilience to asymetric shocks and the importance of the social economy. The aforementioned objectives will be pursued in connection with and within the framework of the mid-term review of the EU2020 strategy.
The Presidency will work towards the implementation of the EU employment strategy, focused on such instruments as the Youth Employment Initiative, and the Youth Guarantee programmes that will start delivering results in 2014. Increasing high-quality labour mobility will also be a key theme.
The Presidency will launch discussions on the proposal for amendments to a series of Directives aimed at improving working conditions, the protection of workers against insolvency of employers, information and consultation of workers and health and safety at work.
The Presidency will accord particular attention to the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 Strategy focusing on indicators of poverty and/or social exclusion chosen as targets. The Italian Presidency will continue the discussion within the Council as regards the social investment package that seeks to improve the adequacy and sustainability of social systems, making the best use of the EU funds to support social investment programmes.
Eurofound will work with the Italian government to bring new research findings, data and recommendations to European policymakers. Common priorities include:
- youth and employment – with Eurofound work on youth and NEETs;
- job creation – through the daily updating of its restructuring events database, restructuring in SMEs research and the European Jobs Monitor; See also our spotlight on employment in Europe
- social inclusion – with facts and analyses from the European Quality of Life Survey publications and Survey Mapping Tool; See also our spotlight on Work, care and inclusion of older people
- rights of workers and working conditions - with work on information and consultation and employee participation from the European Company Survey (see also ECS Survey Mapping Tool); and comparisons of working conditions and job quality across sectors from the latest European Working Conditions Survey.
During the six-month period, Eurofound will contribute to a number of Presidency events.
- 22nd European Social Services Conference - Investing in people and communities, social inclusion and social development, 7 - 9 July 2014, Rome
- Informal EPSCO meeting, 16-18 July 2014, Milan [see Eurofound paper]
- Expert conference: Moving beyond GDP in European economic governance, 10 October 2014, Brussels
- Youth Summit, November 2014 (date and location tba)
- Informal EPSCO meeting, 11 December 2014, Rome