Monday, 13 July 2009

Business "as usual" not an option for employment issues


PRESS RELEASE No 082/2009 11 June 2009

Business "as usual" not an option for employment issues

A few days before the Heads of State and Government are to adopt conclusions about the way out of the labour market crisis, the EESC fine-tunes civil society's recommendations to save jobs.
In the opinion "Results of the Employment Summit" (SOC/434) adopted in plenary session on 11June, rapporteur Wolfgang Greif (Austria, Employees- Group) reiterates the Committee's priority to prevent mass lay-offs and further rises in unemployment which, as a recent OECD forecast predicts, might reach 12 % in 2010 throughout the Union. The numbers of unemployed are rising at an unprecedented speed. Services' and manufacturers' sectors are particularly hit by the crisis. Against this background, and having already contributed to the Employment Summit in Prague at the specific request of European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, the EESC considers that additional measures are necessary.
The Committee stresses the need to use publicly subsidised active employment policy instruments and formulates the necessity to improve employability, encourage entrepreneurship and socially sustainable mobility. Structural reforms must continue in a way which is compatible with social concerns. Consumer and investor confidence needs to be restored by ensuring and encouraging private and public-sector demand. Income cuts must be avoided as far as possible and equality of opportunity must be promoted while targeting inequalities and ensuring greater security in the labour market. A temporarily flexible approach to the Stability Pact should allow for public investment and the expansion of the tax revenue base in the Member States. The Committee reiterates its appeal for an increase of supply by and facilitated access to European Funds.
"Enhanced social dialogue and strengthened wage agreements are needed", Greif said when presenting his opinion at the plenary session. "Social partners and other representatives of organised civil society have a key role to play in tackling the crisis. Decision-makers from business, social and political spheres are responsible for ensuring that a similar crisis does not happen again."

For more details, please contact:

Barbara Gessler at the EESC Press Office,
99 rue Belliard, B-1040 Brussels
Tel.: +32 2 546 9396; Mobile: +32 475 75 32 02
Press Releases: (English) (French)

The European Economic and Social Committee represents the various economic and social components of organised civil society. It is an institutional consultative body established by the 1957 Treaty of Rome. Its consultative role enables its members, and hence the organisations they represent, to participate in the Community decision-making process. The Committee has 344 members, who are appointed by the Council of Ministers.

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