The European Employment Strategy (EES): 10 years of Open Method of Coordination
In 1997 The Amsterdam Treaty, with a new chapter on Employment has been an important step: whilst employment policies remain national competence, it clearly gives to the European Institutions a stronger role. Structural Funds are one of the main financial tools to deliver the strategy.
The components of the EES are:
- Guidelines are proposed by the Commission and adopted by the Council,
On the basis of which Member States develop annual National Action Plans for Employment (NAPs Empl)
- Recommendations to each Member State regarding its employment policy, which are proposed by the Commission and adopted by the Council.
- Each year a Joint Employment Report is established by the Commission and the Council which assesses the national employment policies, it is forwarded to the Spring Council.
- A Mutual Learning Process had been set up to support the assessment of the national best practices. National practices selected by the EMCO are reviewed by other countries and independent experts (See Employment Mutual Learning specific website)
- Indicators are selected to assess progress made by Member States
- The Employment Committee (EMCO) has been established, with advisory status to promote coordination between MS on employment and labour market policies (Article 130). It gathers two representatives for each Member State.
- An Employment Committee subgroup does a specific work on indicators. The EMCO ad hoc group gathers a restricted number of EMCO members and prepares the work of the full EMCO regarding some selected issue (for example the ad hoc group makes a review of the NAPs).
From the revamping of the Lisbon strategy in 2005, this EES has been integrated in the Lisbon strategy and is now the Employment part of the Lisbon strategy. This means:
- Employment Guidelines are the third section of the Integrated Lisbon guidelines, together with Micro and Macro Economic guidelines. The latest guidelines have been issued in June 2008 for the period 2008-2010.
- National Action Plans are the Employment section of the National Reform Programmes. These programmes were submitted by Member States in October 2005 for the period 2005-2008 and Implementation Reports were submitted in the October 2006 et 2007. New three years programmes are to be submitted by Member States by 15 October 2008.
- The Joint Employment Report drafted by the Commission is now presented as an Annex to the Annual Progress Report on Lisbon, and adopted separately by the Council in the first months of the year.
More information available on the Europa website.