EC initiates new strategy to tackle employment impact of the crisis

Publish date: 04-06-2009
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The EU will make available EUR 19 bln of planned European Social Fund expenditure to support people hit by the economic crisis, a press release informs. The EU will also frontload funds and co-financing by Member States will not be necessary for 2009-2010.

Together with the European Investment Bank Group and other partners, a new EU loans facility will be set up to provide micro-credits for those who would usually have difficulty accessing the necessary funds to set up a business or micro-enterprise. The 'EU Shared Commitment for Employment' puts forward key priorities and actions to preserve jobs and help those facing difficulties while paving the way for recovery. The objective is for all relevant actors, trade unions and employers' organisations, as well as Member States and the EU to work together to deliver on this commitment. The proposals will be presented to EU leaders for their agreement at the European Council on 18-19 June. "Europe took swift action to respond to the financial and economic crisis, including its social dimension.

Today the Commission is taking a further step towards shared commitment and coordinated action by the EU, Member States and social partners to save and create jobs," said President Barroso. "For example, we are accelerating billions of euros in EU support for retraining under the European Social Fund, which already helps more than 9 million people a year find jobs. Together with international financial institutions and in particular the European Investment Bank Group, we will create a new EUR 500 M micro-credit facility to support entrepreneurs. And at national level we want to see 5 million young Europeans have access to apprenticeships. I call on the European Council to endorse this ambitious plan", he added. "This crisis started in the financial sector but its effects are now being felt by everyone," said Vladimir Spidla, EU Commissioner for Employment.

"We have been working closely over recent months with national governments and with workers' and employers' organisations on the best ways to tackle the social impacts of the crisis. In particular, we need to focus on getting young people into work, and we must not let them miss their entry into the labour market. The 'Shared Commitment for Employment' is a strong, forward looking and coordinated agenda to fight unemployment, boost job creation and pave the way for a sustainable recovery.

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