Commissioner Andor on the European labour market: there is some slow improvement - 15-05-2014

‘As far as unemployment is concerned, which is particularly acute in the peripheral countries of the European Union, such as Spain and Portugal, we can observe some good trends,’ informed László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, during the 6th European Economic Congress in Katowice.

‘The situation in the European labour market has begun to improve slightly. We expect to receive some better news in the second half of this year,’ projected Andor.

In his opinion, the positive signs are related to the delayed consequences of corrective actions undertaken in the Eurozone.

‘The interventions made by the European Central Bank in 2012 have moved towards real economy last year and now we can see their first consequences in the labour market,’ explained the Commissioner. He also referred to the level of professional activity in European societies, reminding the attendees about the strategic objective of the EU, i.e. achieving the target of 75 per cent general employment among the population at the age between 20 and 64 within the next six years. However, he also indicated that the Member States will strive to achieve that objective following various paths and using flexible tools that take into account the current structure of their own labour markets. Andor presented the professional activation of women and people over 55 as exemplary methods in this regard; however, he also noticed that the professional activity of elderly people in the Nordic countries has already reached high level, contrary to the countries of the south of Europe, for instance.

The short press conference was also attended by Jerzy Buzek, former President of the European Parliament and Chairman of the Congress Council, who declared that the programme of the Congress will be extended with a broader range of social topics related to such areas as the labour market and employment or the relations between employers and employees.

‘Such events as the European Economic Congress accumulate the tensions related to social issues, which have to be defused,’ stated Buzek. ‘While discussing the economy and economic growth, we appreciate the presence of Commissioners and other politicians involved in social issues. Let us remember that no employer can manage without other people.’

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