27 August 1998
Three legislative proposals adopted by the Commission on 22 July 1998 aim to update and clarify the rights of EU citizens in relation to freedom of movement within the Union in order to take up work. The first two proposals modify and update the two core pieces of legislation which have guaranteed freedom of movement for the past 30 years; Council Regulation (EEC) 1612/68 on freedom of movement of workers within in the Community; and Directive 68/360/EEC on the abolition of restrictions on movement and residence within the Community for workers of Member States and their families.
27 August 1998
On 22 July 1998, the European Commission adopted a "framework" which seeks to improve transparency in the area of state aid granted to companies for training their workers, by clarifying which publicly funded training falls under the competition rules regarding state aid. It also defines the criteria the Commission will use to ascertain whether this aid is compatible with the common market.
27 July 1998
On 17 June 1998, the European Court of Justice handed down its judgment in case T-135/96, /UEAPME vs Council of the European Union/. The case arguably attracted relatively little wider attention, but was of great significance for the legal standing of Directives conceived under the Maastricht social policy Agreement and Protocol , whereby agreements reached by the EU-level social partners are implemented by a Council of Ministers Directive. The European Association of Craft and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME) had brought the case, seeking principally the annulment of the June 1996 EU Directive on parental leave (96/34/EC), or secondarily the annulment of the Directive's applicability to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME s).  http://www.europa.eu.int/abc/obj/treaties/en/entr8i.htm
27 July 1998
The new president of the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE), Georges Jacobs of Belgium, has indicated a willingness on the part of European employers to reconsider their decision not to negotiate on workers' rights to information and consultation at the national level. In November 1997, the European Commission had opened a second round of consultations with the EU-level social partners on the content of possible EU legislation on this issue, on the basis of the social policy Agreement and Protocol annexed to the Maastricht Treaty (EU9711160N ). The social partners had an opportunity to seek an agreement on the subject at this stage, thus forestalling a Directive, but UNICE decided in March 1998 not to open talks (EU9803192N ).  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/commission-launches-second-phase-of-consultations-on-national-information-and-consultation  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/unice-rejects-negotiations-on-information-and-consultation
27 June 1998
The meeting of the Labour and Social Affairs Council of Ministers held under the UK Presidency on 3-4 June 1998 in Luxembourg was primarily dedicated to the National Action Plans  (NAP s) for employment produced by the Member States in response to the 1998 Employment Guidelines  (EU9805107N ). The Council held two consecutive debates on the NAPs, the first on 3 June involving only the Ministers of Labour and Social Affairs, and the second at a joint session on 4 June 1998 with the Education Council of Ministers. In the course of the debate, Ministers were invited to discuss their NAPs in relation to the four "pillars" of employability, entrepreneurship, adaptability and equal opportunities. There was a broad consensus that basic educational provision needs to be improved to meet the needs of labour markets. Efforts are to be focused on those who have left school without any marketable qualifications, and a greater emphasis is to be placed on lifelong learning. Many delegations emphasised the importance of involving the social partners in labour market policy. "Mainstreaming" was approved as the most effective approach to achieving greater equality of opportunity. These discussions were held in preparation for the Cardiff European Council meeting later in the month, where the NAPs were to be assessed.  http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/empl&esf/naps/naps_en.htm  http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/empl&esf/docs/guideen.htm  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/national-action-plans-for-employment-reviewed
27 May 1998
The High Level Group on the Economic and Social Implications of Industrial Change, chaired by Pehr Gyllenhammar, was established in response to the European Council's conclusions  at the Luxembourg Jobs Summit  held in November 1997 (EU9711168F ). The Group's brief is to analyse the potential industrial changes that the European Union faces and make recommendations on measures or instruments which can anticipate and manage these changes effectively. The Group presented its interim report [the hypertext link here is to a RAPID document - users without a password or user name should use "guest" for both]  on 14 May 1998 and plans to submit it to the European Council meeting in Cardiff in June 1998.  http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/elm/summit/en/papers/concl.htm  http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/elm/summit/en/home.htm  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/employment-summit-agrees-limited-package-of-measures-to-combat-unemployment  http://www.europa.eu.int/rapid/cgi/rapcgi.ksh?p_action.gettxt=gt&doc=DOC/98/7|0|RAPID&lg=EN
27 May 1998
On 13 May 1998, the European Commission adopted a Communication - entitled From guidelines to action: the National Action Plans for employment - examining the Member States' National Action Plans (NAP s). These Plans drawn up in response to the Employment Guidelines  for 1998 which were adopted in December 1997 by the Council of Ministers as part of the "Luxembourg" European employment strategy. The objective of the Communication is to examine whether the commitments in the NAPs are in line with the Guidelines' four objectives, or "pillars", of employability, adaptability, entrepreneurship and equal opportunities.  http://www.europa.eu.int/en/comm/dg05/elm/naps/commen.pdf  http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/empl&esf/docs/guideen.htm
27 May 1998
The proposed European Company Statute would enable European multinational undertakings to operate under rules governed by EU company law, rather than the diverse regulations of different Member States. Such "European Companies" would also benefit from a special tax status. The idea has been on the table for over a quarter of a century without winning adoption in the Council of Ministers, with the problems centring around the issue of worker involvement in the European Company. In 1996, a high-level expert group was set up by the Commission to help break the deadlock, particularly in respect of those countries which feared that the Statute would undermine strong national involvement rights, and those countries which currently have no legal mechanisms for ensuring employee involvement.
27 April 1998
The latest available figures on accidents at work across the European Union, published by the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat) on 16 March 1998, show that 4,084 people died in work-related accidents in 1994 (one worker in every 26,000) ("Accidents at work in the European Union in 1994", Statistics in focus, Population and social conditions, no 2/98 ) There is a strong sectoral imbalance in the incidence of fatal accidents at work, which was twice the average in construction, agriculture and transport and well below average in retailing, wholesaling, finance, hotels and catering. Gender imbalances were also clearly visible, with men 10 times more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than their female counterparts. This can be attributed to the segregation of men and women in certain sectors and occupations.  http://europa.eu.int/en/comm/eurostat/compres/en/2298/6302298a.htm
27 April 1998
Meeting in Luxembourg on 7 April 1998, EU Labour and Social Affairs Ministers adopted a new Directive extending Directive 97/81/EC on part-time work to the UK. The 1997 Directive (EU9712175N ) implemented the framework agreement on part-time work  concluded by the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE), the European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises of General Economic Interest (CEEP) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) (EU9706131F ). A proposal to extend the application of this Directive to the UK - in the light of the UK Labour Government's agreement to abandon the previous administration's "opt-out" from the Maastricht Agreement on Social Policy (UK9704125F ) - had been tabled by the Commission in February 1998. The UK's social policy opt-out is to be formally ended by the Treaty of Amsterdam (EU9707135F ), which is currently going through the process of ratification in each Member State.  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/social-affairs-council-adopts-directive-to-implement-part-time-work-agreement  http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/soc-dial/social/parttime_en.htm  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/social-partners-reach-framework-agreement-on-part-time-work  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined-labour-market/the-industrial-relations-consequences-of-the-new-labour-government  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/amsterdam-treaty-brings-small-advances-for-employment-and-social-policy