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Labour markets and social policy

EU labour markets are characterised by a number of structural weaknesses, not least an entrenched problem of unemployment. Whilst there have been some improvements, some groups in society, such as women, young people or older workers, continue to be under-represented in employment. There are also new challenges such as a growing skills gap and reaping the benefits of digitalisation of the economy.

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a BusinessEurope policy orientation note - October 2021 (.pdf/1.09 MB)

The performance of labour markets differs between EU countries and regions, which is negatively affecting economic and social cohesion both within and between EU member states. Companies still face challenges in terms of unnecessary rigidities in labour law, excessively high non-wage labour costs. Structural weaknesses are also caused by a mismatch between the skills provided by education and training and those needed on the labour markets.

BusinessEurope calls for reforms which encourage companies to create jobs, motivate people to work. Improving learning outcomes in line with labour market needs is another key challenge on European labour markets.


Public letters Date
La Hulpe declaration on the occasion of the EPSCO Council meeting on 20 June - Letter from Markus J. Beyrer to Coreper 1 10/06/2024
The Porto Social Commitment - signed on the occasion of the Porto Social Summit, 7 May 2021 07/05/2021
Use of the passerelle clause in the area of social policy - Letter from Pierre Gattaz to Jean-Claude Juncker 20/12/2018
Speeches Date
La Hulpe high-level conference on the European pillar of social rights - Address by Markus J. Beyrer 16/04/2024
Porto Social Summit - Speech by Pierre Gattaz, President of BusinessEurope 07/05/2021
Position papers Date
Reducing inactivity rates in Europe - a BusinessEurope policy orientation note 08/05/2023
Labour force and skills shortages: how to tackle them? - a BusinessEurope policy orientation note 21/06/2022
Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Union for the Mediterranean on employment and labour - Joint statement by the social partners of the Union for the Mediterranean 18/05/2022
In-work benefits and their role in supporting employment 05/05/2022
Annual sustainable growth strategy 2022: consultation of European social partners - Employers views 13/10/2021
Follow-up to the 8 June 2021 hearing on the social economy action plan - Joint contribution by BusinessEurope and SMEunited 30/06/2021
Joint SPC-EC long-term care report 2021 - Joint comments by European employers 12/05/2021
Employers’ input to an ACVT opinion on a future EU initiative aiming to improve/boost training provision across Europe 12/05/2021
Joint SPC-EC pension adequacy report 2021 - Joint comments by European employers 07/05/2021
Supplementing GDP as welfare measure: proposed joint list by the European social partners 03/03/2021
Action plan to implement the European pillar of social rights - BusinessEurope reply to the public consultation 27/11/2020
European social partner joint statement on childcare provision in the EU 24/11/2020
Annual growth survey 2020: consultation of European social partners - Employers views 17/10/2019
Reducing labour shortages by improving skills matching - Employers statement 12/09/2019
Reducing the number of NEETs - Joint key messages from the European social partners 30/04/2019
Annual growth survey 2019: consultation of European social partners - Employers views 12/10/2018
Proposal for establishing a European Labour Authority - a BusinessEurope position paper 07/05/2018
Council Recommendation on access to social protection - a BusinessEurope position paper 19/04/2018
Commission proposal for a Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions – BusinessEurope’s views 26/02/2018
European labour authority and EU social security number - BusinessEurope views 12/01/2018
Second-phase consultation of social partners under Article 154 TFEU on a possible action addressing the challenges of access to social protection for people in all forms of employment in the framework of the European pillar of social rights 04/01/2018
European pillar of social rights - A BusinessEurope orientation paper 30/06/2017
Active labour market policies - a BusinessEurope position paper 22/06/2017
Revision of social security coordination regulation - a BusinessEurope position paper 06/06/2017
'More competitiveness to sustain the social dimension of Europe' - Employer key messages 18/01/2017
Reports and studies Date
European social partners' autonomous framework agreement on active ageing and an inter-generational approach - Final implementation report 30/11/2021
Greening the economy: employment and skills aspects - a BusinessEurope policy orientation note 15/10/2021
European social partners' project on circular economy and the world of work - Final report 24/09/2021
Building on experiences a win-win approach to transnational industrial relations in multinational companies - final report 05/12/2018
Future European Social Fund - Better supporting capacity building of social partner organisations 29/06/2018
Press releases Date
European business: Solid economic recovery is key for a social Europe 07/05/2021
EU Pillar of Social Rights: We need a trust-based social partnership 04/03/2021
EU can only deliver for people if the economy works well 14/01/2020


Maxime Cerutti

+32 2 237 65 30
Last updated: 19 October 2021