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Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social [...]: Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2006, COM(2006) 62 final

Funded under: FP6-SME

Abstract

Europe's policies on social protection and social inclusion face major challenges. Global competition, the impact of new technologies and an ageing population shape the long-term policy context; weak growth, high unemployment and persistent inequalities need to be addressed in the short term. At Hampton Court in October, the Heads of State and Government reflected on how Europe's social systems can be sustained in the face of such challenges and how they can, at the same time, contribute to meeting them. The Commission's contribution, strongly endorsed in the Presidency's conclusions, called for "strengthening instruments like the EU's integrated guidelines for growth and jobs and reinforcing their interaction with more effective EU level co-ordination in the area of social protection."
Earlier, the review of the Lisbon strategy in spring 2005 had posed a two-fold challenge for the work under the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) for social protection and social inclusion. It found a gap between the common European objectives and the policies established to address them - for the OMC, this means that the process should move beyond identifying broad principles to focus on the effectiveness of policies. Secondly, while restating the importance of the social dimension of the strategy, it sought a concentration of policy effort on creating higher growth and more and better jobs. Thus close interaction between the social protection and social inclusion OMC, with its focus on providing a high level of social protection and social cohesion, and policies for employment and growth is required. At the same time, the European Council called on the Union and the Member States to give priority, under the social inclusion strategy, to improving the situation of the most vulnerable young people and to initiatives to prevent educational failure as a contribution to the European Youth Pact.

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Record Number: 7366 / Last updated on: 2006-04-27
Category: COM DOCUMENT
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