EAPN draws on our experience at grassroots level to bring a perspective from unemployed workers and those furthest from the labour market to the evaluation and implementation of the European Employment Strategy. EAPN has sought to play this role since the launch of the strategy in 1997 and draws on the experience of its members – through a task force – to examine the strategy and to seek to influence the Employment Guidelines and their implementation at the National level. In so doing EAPN seeks to bring a “bottom up” approach to the strategy believing that “policies will not be able to achieve their laudable aims if they have not taken cognisance of the real issues on the ground, the barriers to employment and employability from the perspective of the people who are actually facing unemployment and job insecurity”.
In this capacity EAPN made a submission to the Review of the European Employment Strategy in June 2002. The Commission Communication “A strategy for full employment and better jobs for all” responds to some of the views submitted in the EAPN contribution. If the messages in the Communication are reflected in the revised guidelines, areas of progress that EAPN and others has sought over a number of years, will have been achieved.
EAPN is also building contacts/membership with relevant NGOs in the future member states. Through these contacts EAPN disseminates information about the European Employment Strategy and seek to incorporate the perspectives of these NGOs into the future development of the strategy.
In this paper EAPN sets out its reflections on the Commissions Communication and recommendations for the revised Guidelines.