Employment policy – social guarantee in european union

Leta Dromantienė

Abstract


The emphasis in the Community’s and Union’s treaties and charter on workers’ rights and on the need to create conditions that would facilitate freedom of movement of labour between member states explains why issues concerned with the employment and equalization of working conditions have always been high on the policy agenda.
With the launch of the European Monetary Union (EMU) and Euro, the debate on European solutions shifted focus towards structural policies, which are the necessary complement to the macroeconomic policy mix under EMU. Employment is the key ingredient of this debate. Indeed employment cuts across all the challenges of enlargement, the new financial framework and the EU structural funds, the promotion of economic and social cohesion, and institution reform. Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s employment was present in the minds of the leaders of the then EEC when the four freedoms of movement of goods, services, capital and labour were promoted in Single Market.
The subsequent evolution of employment strategy can be divided into two periods, the watershed of which is marked by new Treaty of Amsterdam, signed in October 1997. Before Amsterdam, employment and labour market policy was the sovereign domain of the Member States. The treaty does not change the basic principle that Member States take primary responsibility for employment policy. But it does entrust the European institutions, the Council and the Commission with a much stronger role, new tasks and more forceful tools. It involves the European Parliament more closely with the decision making process. Also, the responsibilities of the social partners and their opportunities to contribute are enhanced through the inclusion of the Social Protocol into the Treaty. Leaders of many Member States have been at the forefront in coordinating and implementing the European employment strategy.

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789