The Employment and Social Development in Europe 2018 report has been released by DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion on 12th July 2018. It gives a global picture of the labour market and the social challenges the European Union tackled with in the past and is facing now.

As the international economy changes with an always greater integrated and globalised market, the labour market undergoes some major mutations as well. Thus, with technological innovation, demographic changes and competition increasing, new forms of work are emerging, and new skills are needed.

These changes lead to new issues such as inequalities amongst workers. This is the reason why policies need to be implemented in order guarantee a protective labour legislative framework and solidarity mechanisms.

The European Union answered the new challenges with numerous mechanisms: first, the European Pillar of Social Rights announced in November 2017 that consecrates social principles such as social protection and welfare. A better access to funds has been granted as well with call for proposals such as the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (Operating grants 2019 to Framework Partners active in the area of disability) or the Preparatory action: Reactivate (Intra-EU job mobility scheme for unemployed over 35s). The Commission also proposed new laws concerning social security coordination, a new work-life balance directive and a directive on transparent and predictable working conditions. The Skills Agenda for Europe, another Commission’s initiative sets up 10 actions in order for the ever EU citizens to have access to the appropriate training.

This year Employment and Social Development Report focuses on how the EU can tackle with challenges linked to the increasing presence of robot in the production process, the demographic impact on labour forces and the question of the new skills the market demands and the training we can offer to the European citizens.

The last few years’ figures have shown the European Union is now back on its feet from the crisis: growth rate has outperformed forecasts and reached 2.5% thanks to private consumption and an improvement in investment as well. Same observations have been made for unemployment and poverty. Unfortunately, inequalities remain strong amongst Member States.

Technological innovation and globalisation lead to new models of designing, producing and consuming goods and services. Thus, a decline in manufacturing has been observed and meanwhile the service sector has been thriving. Whereas these modifications can bring opportunities such as a greater flexibility and resilience in the labour market they are also the announcement of jobs destruction, unemployment and greater inequalities between territories and workers.

This is where the European Commission comes in, by implementing initiatives made for the European citizens, promoting investment, training programmes and an alignment between new forms of work and social protection.


For further information concerning call for proposals from DG Empl, click here

For further information on legislative proposal concerning work life balance and social security, click here

For further information on the Skills Agenda for Europe, click here

For further information on the Employment and Social Development in Europe 2018 Report, click here