Europäische Union - 11.12.2009 - von EurActiv
Aufmerksamkeit ist geboten! Wenn die EU von "ambitioniert" spricht, muss man stets auf alles gefasst sein!
EU summit to call for ‘ambitious’ social plan[fr][de]
Published: Thursday 10 December 2009: The European Union should equip itself with an "ambitious" social plan by spring 2010 in order to fight growing unemployment, EU leaders are expected to state at the conclusion of a two-day summit which opens in Brussels today (10 December).
The current economic downturn, the most severe recession since World War II, has had a significant negative impact on EU labour markets. The crisis follows several years of relatively high economic growth and job creation, with 9.7 million new jobs created in the period 2005-2008 alone, according to the European Commission.
Trade unions claim that almost half the jobs created in recent years were lost in 2009, and the situation is expected to worsen in 2010.
Leaders will confirm the worrying scenario depicted by forecasts from across Europe. "The employment and social situation is expected to deteriorate further in 2010," the European Council is set to reiterate.
According to European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) estimates, there are already 25 million unemployed people in the EU and this number is set to grow further in 2010. The European Commission has already forecast an EU unemployment rate of above 10% in 2010.
As a consequence, employment is set to drop below 62.4%, a level last reached in 2002, according to ETUC. In 2008 the employment rate stood at 65.9%.
Against this background, leaders will ask the European Commission to present a comprehensive plan to foster "socially inclusive growth". The European Council "looks forward to an ambitious proposal as early as possible in 2010 with a view to a full discussion at the 2010 spring European Council," reads the draft textword, to be finalised by leaders tomorrow.
The new plan, on which the EU executive launched a public consultation in November, is aimed at replacing the Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs and setting the EU's agenda until 2020 (EurActiv 25/11/09).
"The time leading to the spring European Council should be used to define the elements of such a strategy for EU 2020 and to examine how to ensure sustainable public finances whilst preserving investment (1.!) and social welfare (2.!)," underline the draft summit conclusions.
Delaying the social debate?
This timetable, however, is not to the taste of the Socialists in the European Parliament, who are calling for delaying the debate on social issues in order to give the new Commission time to properly address the matter.
"The new Commission takes office only in February and it should have time to strengthen the ideas put forward by its predecessor," said Stephen Hughes,vice-president of the Socialist and Democrats group.
However, a possible delay is likely to upset trade unions. ETUC has already called for a European demonstration in Brussels in March ahead of the spring European Council,dedicated to social issues.
Published: Wednesday 16 December 2009 EU's 2020 strategy 'too short-termist'
The EU's 2020 strategy to build a sustainable future beyond the current economic crisis is too short-termist and fails to address the fundamental problems of the current growth model, Philippe Herzog, founder of the Confrontations Europe think-tank, told EurActiv in an interview.
Herzog, a former French MEP for the far-left GUE group in the European Parliament, was speaking after a two-day Confrontations Europe conference in Brussels exploring "investment in human capital and long-term financing" to pull the EU out of recession.
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