Freitag, Mai 19, 2006


employment week

Employment Week has been in existence for twelve years and offers a opportunity for practitioners and European decision-makers to connect and discuss the latest policies and trends in employment.

This year's theme is 'Working together for growth and jobs'. It was the first time civil society organisations have been actively involved in the week thus the European Youth Forum took part in the week the first time. As the spring council concluded that youth is one of the focus areas in the fight against unemployment we have been in a very prominent and visible position during the week. Not only that we spoke at the opening session but also we got to comment on the conclusions in the closing session.

It was really interesting to see for example the strength and weakness of the European Trade Union movement. On the one had side they gave an excellent speech outlining the difficulties with the stability criteria, public investments, employment policy and economic and trade policy, the one sided flexibility of the labour market and issues concerning the price stability of the Union, on the other hand side employers and employee organisations very much agreed that social dialogue is solely their role.

We raised concerns that Trade unions do not represent unemployed people and that they lack young people and women, especially in high-level positions. For us these are some of the more obvious reasons why civil society organisations need to be included in a structured dialogue.

Generally the Youth Forum does not have a policy on economy, so it was tempting but not within my mandate to react to the speech of the trade union. But I was able to raise issues that we have agreed positions on from our social inclusion policy paper.

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