“High employment rates and signs of improvement for the youth”, this is how the European Commission advertises the current Quarterly Report on Employment and Social Developments in the EU. The Commission far too often paints a too rosy picture of the economic and social development in Europe. However, from the AK’s point of view, additional efforts have to be made at European level to ensure that the increased growth and employment rates also improve people’s working and living conditions.
On 18 January 2022, the European Commission presented two initiatives within the framework of the strategy on the European Education Area by 2025, whose objective it will be to deepen the cooperation of universities in Europe. For instance, university alliances shall be created to jointly fund the infrastructure required for research projects. It is the aim to position European universities at the top of international rankings in future.
The Brussels Office of the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour (AK EUROPA), the Brussels Office of the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB Europabüro), the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) are pleased to invite you to the following event.
The Corona crisis has exacerbated existing inequalities. Women and people in precarious and atypical employment have been particularly affected. This year’s joint event hosted by ETUI, ETUC, ÖGB Europabüro and AK EUROPA on the Benchmarking Working Europe Report has made one thing clear: the pandemic has exposed the immense weaknesses of our economic policy, making the development of a more social Europe more important than ever.
On 9 December 2021, the European Commission submitted an eagerly awaited proposal for a directive to improve the working conditions of people working through digital labour platforms. The proposal comprises three targets: combatting false self-employment, creating more transparency and fairness as well as introducing comprehensive information duties.
To what extent are young LGBT+Q+ people confronted with discrimination at the start of their careers? And what action should be taken to combat discrimination due to sexual orientation and gender identity as well as to create inclusive workplaces? The European WE Project has addressed these issues; AK Europa hosted its closing event on 8 December 2021. As part of the event, Best Practice examples, an interactive toolkit and an online learning platform were presented among other things.
On 25 November 2021, the European Parliament adopted the EU Directive on Minimum Wages and Collective Bargaining with a large majority, thereby giving the green light for negotiations between Parliament, Council and Commission. Minimum wages are important for reducing in-work poverty and wage differences and creating good working conditions.
With the presentation of the Autumn Package on 24 November 2021, the Commission has launched the cycle of the European Semester for 2022. It was announced that the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) will be integrated into the European Semester. Apart from that, more focus shall be placed on social and environmental aspects. Nevertheless, there is a basic need to reform the European Semester in order to put well-being oriented policies at the centre of the European Union.
In view of the digital and ecological transformation of the economy, education policy is a key element to ensure a socially just transformation. With this in mind, education policy is also a central element of the Slovenian Presidency and the European Commission. Hereby, particular attention is payed to adult learning and the perspective of lifelong learning.
Together with the Autrian Social Responsibility Network (Nesove), the Austrian trade union Federation ÖGB and numerous NGOs, Chamber of Labour has sent an open letter to Austrian Commissioner Hahn on the long-awaited Commission proposal for a Directive on Corporate Due Diligence.