Following the draft Joint Employment Report produced by the European Commission as part of its annual review process of the Lisbon Strategy, EAPN sent its analysis of the report to the Employment Committee. The text was included in the meeting documents and discussed. Unfortunately, EAPN’s concerns were not picked up by the final document.
EAPN welcomes some positive aspects of the Report, such as the will to go beyond foreseen NRP measures to address the current crisis, the underlining of secure job transitions, the need for adequate safety nets and minimum income, the emphasis placed in the stabilizing role of social protection, the special attention paid to vulnerable groups and the importance attributed to undeclared work, amongst others. However, this Report is a step back from the previous one and a number of missed opportunities were highlighted by EAPN’s report. Among these:
* The important role of employment in fight against poverty – no mention is made in the Report of the fight against poverty.
* Active Inclusion as key tool in the crisis – the Report focuses too much on activation, without giving proper weight to issues such as quality of work, the working poor, or adequate income support to those furthest form thelabour market.
* Flexicurity and upgrading skills are not enough – job retention, job creation, employment security are not properly emphasized in the analysis.
* The potential of social economy and social enterprises, particularly those aimed at worker integration, is not mentioned.
* The lack of consulation and involvement of stakeholders in the drafting and implementation of policy which direclty impacts on their lives is not highlighted in the Report.
The 2008 Joint Employment Report attempts to maintain a positive note, which is not in tune with the grim realities faced by people on the ground, especially the poorest and most excluded, while insufficient and sometimes ineffective labour market measures are suggested to counter the effects of the economic downturn. You can read the full response here.