euro watch: joint employment report analyses employment action plans

Secretary general of the European Human Resource Network – a cross-sectoral information network for European employers dealing with issues of employment and labour market in Europe.

It is the time of year for the Joint Employment Report which is an analysis of the success and failure of national employment action plans during the past year. This is also the statistical and analytical basis for recommendations and employment guidelines for the future. It is, as the name suggests, a joint report put out by the Commission and Council, and forms part of the package of documents to be tabled at the European Council in Nice on 7 and 8 December. Full text is available on the Europa website:

Objectives in annual operation programmes of employment

The objectives set out in the annual operational programmes of employment are:

  • Lifelong learning

  • Active labour market policies

  • Equal opportunities for all in accessing the labour market

  • Adaptability and entrepreneurship

The next step is for the employers to present the Commission with a programme setting out details of where and how funds will actually be spent. It will then be up to regional authorities to launch calls for applications for projects.

ETUC unhappy with the draft Charter on Fundamental Rights

In Biarritz later this week (13-14 October), the EU summit will consider whether to include the Charter on Fundamental Rights in the EU treaty giving it legally binding force. Final decision would be taken in Nice in December

There is however, disappointment about the Charter. The European Trade Union Confederation wants to see freedom of association, collective bargaining and trade union action recognised in the future charter and written into the Treaty with binding force. The Secretary General, Emilio Gabaglio has expressed his dismay that trade union rights are not guaranteed in the draft whereas freedom to conduct business is.

He is reported as saying at a conference on 1 September that the draft Charter is a step backwards from national laws, international conventions and existing Community charters.

In the same vein, the EU Social Platform of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) cites fundamental rights such as the right to housing and to protection against poverty and social exclusion as missing from the text. The European Women’s Lobby states that the general principle of non-discrimination as proposed in the Charter does not take into account the structural discrimination faced by women. To this end the Charter should provide for the adoption of positive measures by Member States.

The ETUC statement opts for postponement of a decision at the Nice European Council rather than to endorse a Charter which is “adamantly opposed by the trade union movement and civil society”. In concurrence with this view, Giampiero Alhadeff , President of the Social Platform of NGO’s, stated: “No Charter at all is better than the weak text that’s currently on the table”.

Full text available:

Register your comments on Europe and its developments

If you would like to register your comments on Europe and its developments for 2000 go to the Europa website: and click on: 2000 Dialogue in Europe.

You will also find information on chat line debates with Commissioners.

European Human Resources meets with European Commission

The European Human Resources Network will meet with the European Commission DGV to discuss the Future of European Employment and Social Policies on 12 October 2000 in Brussels. “Innovative HR Management – Holding on to key people, an examination of career management and retention issues” is the title of the afternoon workshop.

For information contact Susan Gibas:

By Susan Gibas

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