Europe stands out in the world as the region with the highest level of social well-being and social equity. We have experienced a rapid increase of life expectancy over the last decades and currently high levels of satisfaction of Europeans with their working conditions.
But Europe is faced with important social challenges, not least ensuring an employment-rich recovery and dealing with the impact of demographic change. Social challenges will only be tackled through economic growth and expansion of employment. And this is only possible if private enterprises are able to remain competitive.
To maintain its well-developed social model and achieve the objectives of social Europe – full employment, social well-being and prosperity for all citizens – Europe needs to:
- improve the flexibility, openness and dynamism of labour markets;
- ensure that labour costs are and remain in line with productivity;
- ensure investment achieves more effective and efficient use of resources and sustainability of social systems;
- reduce the risk of poverty through better employment opportunities for all;
- develop, retain and attract skills;
- and optimise mobility across the EU.
Integrated action at all levels – regional, national and European – is required. At the same time it is important not to ignore the increasingly diverse economic and social situations in an enlarged EU. This means that EU policy has to effectively respond to different needs and action has to take place at the appropriate level, in line with the principle of subsidiarity.
BusinessEurope is the leading cross-industry employer social partner. We negotiate with the other EU social partners to achieve a business-friendly social policy environment in the European Union.