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Labour markets reform agenda

The crisis has reminded us that European economies are closely interconnected, particularly as part of the single market. At the same time, EU member states are diverse, so each has to find its own reform path. We can succeed in achieving more convergence towards growth and more social cohesion across the EU, if all EU countries are committed to competitiveness and boosting growth and jobs.

Building on the Council 2007 common principles on flexicurity, the EU should focus on building consensus on a European framework for national labour market reforms.

Through the European Semester, the European Commission presents an analysis of the economic and social situation in each member state. It also addresses country-specific recommendations, endorsed by the EU Council.  The challenge is ensuring that this process really has an impact, through effective implementation of country recommendations.

BusinessEurope believes that, through this process, Europe must focus on policies aiming at bringing back economic growth through structural labour market reforms leading to a job-rich recovery.

To steer the reform process, the EU should set up a fresh approach on benchmarking, where the Council, Commission and social partners could discuss effective ways of making progress at national level.


Position papers Date
Annual growth survey 2019: consultation of European social partners - Employers views 12/10/2018
Annual growth survey 2018: consultation of European social partners - Employers views 16/10/2017
European pillar of social rights - A BusinessEurope orientation paper 30/06/2017
EU cross-industry employers joint statement on the employment and social affairs aspects of the 2017 Annual Growth Survey 26/10/2016
European Pillar of Social Rights – BusinessEurope contribution to the debate 25/08/2016
Labour market integration of the long-term unemployed 15/12/2015
Annual growth survey 2016: consultation of European social partners - Employers views 07/10/2015
European Commission initiative on the long-term unemployed - Employers views by UEAPME, BusinessEurope and CEEP 08/05/2015
European cross-industry employers contribution to the annual growth survey 2015 15/10/2014
Framework of Actions on Youth Employment 11/06/2013
Social Investment Package 21/03/2013
Moving youth into employment 31/01/2013
Rethinking education: investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes 28/01/2013
Reports and studies Date
Labour market reforms and implementation of country-specific recommendations in 2014 - a BusinessEurope analysis 13/04/2015
Future of social Europe: challenges and the way ahead 28/11/2014
Creating opportunities for youth - How to improve the quality and image of apprenticeships 01/03/2012
Speeches Date
Should growth and competitiveness be main challenges for the EU? - Speech by Markus J. Beyrer at the Lewiatan conference "Future of Europe: social economy first?", Brussels 25/03/2015
High-level conference on employment in Europe, Milan - Address by BusinessEurope's President Emma Marcegaglia 08/10/2014
Automatic stabilizers for the Eurozone: pros and cons of a European Unemployment Benefit Scheme 11/10/2013
Meeting Social Partners and EU Council - Speech by Emma Marcegaglia, President of BusinessEurope 27/06/2013
Joint social partners seminar on transition between education and employment, 23-24 May 2013, Berlin - Speaking notes for Maxime Cerutti, BusinessEurope's Director of Social Affairs 24/05/2013
Neujobs: wanted skills: labour market matching and labour mobility - Speaking notes for Robert Plummer, Adviser, Social Affairs, BusinessEurope - CEPS labour migration and mobility conference, 7 May 2013 06/05/2013
Review on employment and social developments in Europe - Speaking notes for Maxime Cerutti 06/02/2013
European Employment Forum - Speaking notes for Maxime Cerutti 27/11/2012
Sustainable growth in the European Union: the role of education and training - Speaking notes for Maxime Cerutti at the Jean Monnet conference 14/11/2012
Creating opportunities for youth: how to improve the quality and images of apprenticeships - Presentation by Maxime Cerutti at the BDA lunch debate in the European Parliament 06/11/2012
Informal meeting of ministers for Employment and Social Affairs - Speaking notes for Renate Hornung-Draus 12/07/2012
Creating opportunities for youth: how to improve the quality and image of apprenticeships - Presentation by Maxime Cerutti at the European Commission conference on the employment package 20/06/2012
European Business Forum on vocational training - Speaking notes for Maxime Cerutti 08/06/2012
Mission Growth conference - Speaking points for Thérèse de Liedekerke, "Educate for employment" 29/05/2012
Education Council: Ministerial dinner of the troika with the European social partners - Speaking points for Maxime Cerutti 10/05/2012
Youth: employment and inclusion in times of crisis - Speaking notes for Nils Trampe at the Danish Presidency expert conference 27/04/2012
European Business Summit - Closing plenary - "Educate for employment" - Address by President Jürgen Thumann 26/04/2012
European Business Summit - Panel discussion: managing (un)employment; jobs and skills in the crisis - Speaking notes for Philippe de Buck 26/04/2012
Press releases Date
Providing perspectives for the young: no time to lose 05/12/2012
Business supports EU Alliance for Apprenticeships 21/11/2012


Robert Plummer

Senior Adviser
+32 2 237 65 75
Last updated: 5 July 2016