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Social Policy

A. New Policy Initiatives

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 January 2008

Extract

The Barcelona Summit of March 2002 provided the catalyst for further coordination and synchronisation between the social and economic dimensions of the Lisbon Strategy framework. The definition of the ‘European Social Model’ as ‘good economic performance, a high level of social protection and education and social dialogue’ has become a working definition underpinning the direction of social policy in official publications.1 The Barcelona Presidency also led to the adoption of a streamlined set of Employment Guidelines, Recommendations to the Member States and Broad Economic Policy Guidelines on the same day, heralded as an ‘instrument for economic governance’ by the Commission.2 The reform of the European Employment Strategy (EES) concentrates upon the problems and weaknesses of the EES identified in the evaluation of the first 5 years of the Strategy.3 The Commission identified four central issues for reform, focusing upon the need to set clear objectives (which include priorities and targets), the need to simplify the policy guidelines, the need to improve governance and ensure greater consistency and complementarity with other EU processes. A new development on the eve of the Spring Council (the Brussels Summit) on 20–21 March 2003 was a ‘Social Summit’ attended by a troika of the Heads of State/Government of the past, current and future Presidencies, the Commission and the Social Partners. One outcome of this Summit was the creation of a new eight-member task force, chaired by Wim Kok.4 The aim of the European Employment Task Force is to investigate practical steps to prompt the Member States to implement the new revised EES endorsed at the Spring Summit. The Task Force will report to the Commission in time to draft the Joint Employment Report for the annual Spring Summits.

Type
Current Developments: European Union Law
Copyright
Copyright © British Institute of International and Comparative Law 2003

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References

1 Presidency Conclusions, Barcelona European Council 15 and 16 Mar 2002, para 22.Google ScholarCf the definition given by Hain, Peter, Government Representative on the Convention on the Future of Europe in oral evidence to the House of Lords' Select Committee on the European Union: ‘good economic performance, competitiveness, a high level of social protection and education and social dialogue’, (author's emphasis), Minutes of Evidence, 3, 3A, House of Lords' Select Committee on the European Union, The Future of Europe: ‘Social Europe’ HL Paper 79, 25 Mar 2003.Google Scholar

2 The Commission has tabled fifty-seven Recommendations to the Member States. These are based upon the Joint Employment Report adopted by the Commission and the Council on 6 Mar 2003, available at: <http//www.europa.eu.int/comm/employmentsocial/employmentstrategy/emply_en.htm>..>Google Scholar

3 Communications from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, Taking Stock of Five Years of the European Employment Strategy COM (2002) 416 final; The Future of the European Employment Strategy (EES) ‘A strategy for full employment and better jobs for all’ COM (2003) 6 final.Google ScholarSee Best, E and Bossaert, D (eds), From Luxembourg to Lisbon and Beyond: Making the Employment Strategy Work (Maastricht: EIPA, 2002).Google Scholar

4 Members of the Task Force were announced in the Press Release of 1 Apr 2003, ‘Anna Diamantopoulou announces the Members of the European Employment Task Force Under Mr Wim Kok’, IP/03/469.Google Scholar

5 COM (2000) 379 final. See Szyszczak, E, ‘The New Paradigm for Social Policy: a virtuous circle?’ (2001) 38 CMLRev 1125;Google Scholar‘Social Policy in the Post-Nice Era’, in Arnull, A and Wincott, D (eds), Accountability and Legitimacy in the European Union (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002).Google Scholar

6 Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions Concerning the Scoreboard on Implementing the Social Policy Agenda, COM (2003) 57 final, 2.Google Scholar

7 See also Commission's Legislative and Work Programme 2003, COM (2002) 590.Google Scholar

8 Final Report of Working Group XI on ‘Social Europe’, CONV 516/03. The Group's mandate was to examine: the basic values in the social field to be included in Art 2 of the draft Constitutional Treaty, taking into account those already contained in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights; the social objectives to be included in Article 3 of the draft Treaty; the need to define EC/EU competences in respect of social matters and the possible addition of new competences; the role of the OMC and its place in the new Constitutional Treaty; the relationship between economic and social policy coordination; the possible extension of qmv; the role of the social partners. See J Shaw, A Strong Europe is a Social Europe, <http://www.fedtrust.co.uk/eu_constitutions>. A limitation of the late addition of this Working Group was that the first draft of Arts 1–16 of the Constitution addressing the fundamental values, objectives and competences of the Union, were drawn up before the Working Group's views could be taken into account..+A+limitation+of+the+late+addition+of+this+Working+Group+was+that+the+first+draft+of+Arts+1–16+of+the+Constitution+addressing+the+fundamental+values,+objectives+and+competences+of+the+Union,+were+drawn+up+before+the+Working+Group's+views+could+be+taken+into+account.>Google Scholar

9 Directive 2002/73 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 Sept 2002 amending Council Directive 76/207 on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions OJ. 2002 L269/15.Google Scholar

10 The French term ‘refonte’ captures the process: the consolidation, with amendments, of the existing legislation in the light of case law and the new fundamental rights perspective generated by Art 13 EC.Google Scholar

11 Above n 7.Google Scholar

12 Case C-450/93 [1995] ECR I-3051.Google Scholar

13 Report from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, Annual Report on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men in the European Union, 2002, COM (2003) 98 final.Google Scholar

14 For a discussion of the interaction of the various legal bases see Whittle, R and Bell, M, ‘Between Social Policy and Union Citizenship: the Framework Directive on Equal Treatment in Employment’ (2002) 27 ELRev 677.Google Scholar

15 Directive 2000/43, OJ 2000 L180/22; Directive 2000/78, OJ 2000 L 303/16.Google Scholar

16 Above 13.Google Scholar

17 Case C-222/84 [1986] ECR I-4185.Google Scholar

18 Case C-273/97 [1999] ECR I-7403.Google Scholar

19 Case C-285/98 [2000] ECR I-69.Google Scholar

20 Case C-394/96 Brown [1998] ECR I-418; Case 342/93 Gillespie [1996] ECR I-475.Google Scholar

21 ‘A woman on maternity leave shall be entitled, after the end of her period of maternity leave, to return to her job or to an equivalent post on terms and conditions which are no less favourable to her and to benefit from any improvements in working conditions to which she would be entitled during her absence.’ (Art 1(7) ETD) (Art 1(2)).Google Scholar

22 Council Directive 96/34, OJ 1996 L145/4.Google Scholar

23 Resolution of the Council and of the Ministers for Employment and Social Policy meeting within the Council of 29 June 2000 on the balanced participation of women and men in family and working life, OJ 2000 C 218/5.Google Scholar

24 Case C-271/91 Marshall [1993] ECR I-4367; Case C-180/95 Draehmpaehl [1997] ECR I-2195.Google Scholar

25 Case C-185/97 [1998] ECR I-5199.Google Scholar

26 Directive 2002/74/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 Sept 2002 amending Council Directive 80/987 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the protection of employees in the event of the insolvency of the employer, OJ 2002 L270/10. The Directive uses Art 137(2) EC as the legal base. The Directive must be implemented by 8 Oct 2005.Google Scholar

27 OJ 1998 L14/9.Google Scholar

28 OJ 1991 L206/19.Google Scholar

29 OJ 1999 L175/43.Google Scholar

30 OJ 2000 L 60/1.Google Scholar

31 Case C-l 17/96 Danmarks Aktive Handelsrejsende, for Carina Mosbcek v Lonmodtagernes Garantifond [1997] ECR I-5017; Case C-198/98 G Everson and TJ Barras v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Bell Lines Ltd [1999] ECR I-8903.Google Scholar

32 Directive 2002/14 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a general framework for informing and consulting employees in the European Community, OJ 2002 L80/29. This Directive is without prejudice to the specific information and consultation procedures set out in the Collective Redundancies Directive and the Transfer of Undertakings Directive and the EWC Directive and other rights to information, consultation and participation under national law. The Information and Consultation Directive deals with a broader range of issues than the SE Employees' Involvement Directive and operates in SE's alongside that Directive.Google Scholar

33 Case 65/01 Commission v Italian Republic, judgment of 10 Apr 2003; C-455/00 Commission v Italian Republic, judgment of 24 Oct 2002; Case C-383/00 Commission v Germany, judgment of 14 May 2002.Google Scholar

34 Case C-320/00 AG Lawrence and others v Regent Office Care Ltd, Commercial Catering Group, Mitie Secure Services Ltd, judgment of 17 Sep 2002.Google Scholar

35 See the similar conclusion reached in Case C-256/01 Allonby, Advocate General Geelhoed, Opinion 2 Apr 2003. The Opinion contains reflections on the changing nature of the labour market in Europe.Google Scholar

36 Case C-351/00 Pirkko Niemi, judgment of 12 Sep 2002. Applying Case C-7/93 Beaune [1994] ECR I-4471; Case C-366/99 Griesmar [2001] ECR I-9383.Google Scholar

37 Case C-186/01 Alexander Dory v Federal Republic of Germany, judgment of 11 Mar. 2003.Google Scholar

38 Pending the application Dory received his call-up papers. He applied for interim measures from the national court and the ECJ. The former granted the application but the latter declared the action inadmissible by Order of its President, Case C-186/01R Alexander Dory v Germany [2001] ECR I-7823.Google Scholar

39 Case C-273/97 [1999] ECR I-7403.Google Scholar

40 Case C-285/98 [2000] ECR I-69.Google Scholar

41 For criticism of this approach see Canor, I, ‘Harmonisizing the European Community's Standard of Judicial Review?’ (2002) 8 EPL 135, 146 ff.Google Scholar

42 Case C-376/98 [2001] ECR I-2247.Google Scholar

43 Case C-151/02 Landeshauptstadt Kiel v Norbert Jaeger, Opinion of 8 Apr 2003.Google Scholar

44 Case C-442/00 Angel Rodriguez Caballero v Fondo de Garantia Salarial (Fogasa), judgment of 12 Dec 2002.Google Scholar

45 Para 30.Google Scholar

46 Para 42.Google Scholar

47 Case 43/75 [1976] ECR 455. See Case C-184–89 Nimz [1991] ECR I-297, paras 18–20; Case C-408/92 Avdel Systems [1994] ECR I-4435, para 16.Google Scholar

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