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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.

Social partners’ role in the European Semester is increasingly important. EU and national social partners are now more closely associated with the yearly cycle of interaction between the Commission and Council’s relevant bodies with respect to the preparation of country reports and country-specific recommendations.

Timely and meaningful involvement of social partners throughout the European Semester and at various levels is key to improve engagement in the design of policies/reforms thereby facilitating their ownership and successful implementation in a way that balances the interests of workers and employers.

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 sustainable growth survey (ASGS) 2023: consultation of European social partners - Employers views 13/10/2022
Annual sustainable growth strategy 2022: consultation of European social partners - Employers views 13/10/2021
Reforming active labour market policies in turbulent times - a BusinessEurope orientation paper 27/11/2020
Action plan to implement the European pillar of social rights - BusinessEurope reply to the public consultation 27/11/2020
Annual growth survey 2020: consultation of European social partners - Employers views 17/10/2019
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
Public letters Date
The Porto Social Commitment - signed on the occasion of the Porto Social Summit, 7 May 2021 07/05/2021
Speeches Date
Porto Social Summit - Speech by Pierre Gattaz, President of BusinessEurope 07/05/2021
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
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
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


Anna Kwiatkiewicz

Senior Adviser
+32 2 237 65 92
Last updated: 21 January 2019