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Living and Working in the EU

Living and working in the European Union.

Guidelines on free movement and residence rights of EU citizens and their families - briefing
Guidelines on free movement and residence rights of EU citizens and their families

European website on Integration
Under the slogan 'Integration at your fingertips', the website is aimed at promoting integration and provides high-quality content responding to actors' needs and building a community of integration practitioners.

EU - Second European Quality of Life Survey - Overview (EUROFOUND)
The second European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS), carried out by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living andWorking Conditions (Eurofound) from September 2007 to February 2008, represents a unique attempt to explore quality of life throughout Europe. With information gathered from 35,000 interviews conducted in 31 countries, it is a major source of information, highlighting for policymakers and other interested groups the social and economic challenges facing the EU in the wake of the two recent rounds of enlargement. For four out of five Europeans, health is key to quality of life. This report also includes information on work-life balance. More than a quarter (27%) of workers in the EU27 feel that they spend too much time in work; more men than women are of this opinion (29% of men and 24% of women). Enabling citizens to develop a balance between family life, personal commitments and working time has become central to the social policy debate.

Fight discrimination, harassment and violence against Lesbians and Gays in the EU: report
The EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) today publishes its new report "Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the EU Member States: Part II - The Social Situation". The report finds that discrimination, harassment and violence against LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) persons are widespread throughout the EU.

Quality and quantity of water is a serious problem - Eurobarometer
Almost two out of three of Europeans consider that the quality of water in their country is a serious problem, according to a special Eurobarometer survey on Europeans' opinion on water issues published by the European Commission this week-end. The report also shows that Europeans see the quantity of available water as an equally serious problem. More than a third of Europeans feel that over the last five years the quality of rivers, lakes and coastal waters has deteriorated. Industry and agriculture are seen as having the biggest impact on the quality and quantity of water in their country and an overwhelming majority of Europeans think climate change will have an impact on water resources.

Publication: Europe for women
The European Union is involved in a number of areas that affect your daily life, from gender equality to product safety. How do you want the EU to shape these issues in the future? Use your vote at the European Parliament elections in June 2009 - Manuscript completed in March 2009.

Work-life balance package - briefing
Millions of women throughout Europe will be entitled to longer and better maternity leave, under proposals unveiled on 3 October by the European Commission. A separate proposal would also improve the situation of self-employed women by providing equivalent access to maternity leave, on a voluntary basis. The two initiatives form part of a package of measures to improve work-life balance for all Europeans – both women and men. They aim to update and improve existing EU legislation and will now be sent to the European Parliament and national governments for discussion. Meanwhile, the European social partners have launched negotiations to improve other forms of family leave, such as parental leave.

Urban Audit website - Regional Policy Inforegio
Initiated by Directorate-General for Regional Policy, the European Urban Audit involves 27 National Statistical Offices working together under Eurostat coordination. Data are collected on more than 300 variables describing the quality of life in 300 European cities. Based on this unique data collection, a report has been produced. Complementary information has also been gathered through a survey on how inhabitants perceive quality of life in their city.

European Commission action on the Roma
The Roma website of the European Commission. Roma are an integral part of European civilization. The European Union aims to promote their full inclusion into society and their participation in the economy, in the labour market, in cultural life and in decision-making.

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF)
The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund provides support to people losing their jobs as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation, e.g. when a large company shuts down or production is moved outside the EU, or as a result of the global economic and financial crisis.

EU instruments and policies for Roma inclusion - guide
Millions of Europeans of Roma origin are subject to persistent discrimination - both at individual and institutional level - and far-reaching social exclusion, says a new European Commission report released today. But the tools exist to improve the situation if the EU, Member States and civil society join forces to effectively coordinate their efforts. The 2 July report comes as a response to the request by EU leaders in December 2007 to examine the policies and instruments available at EU level to improve Roma inclusion.

Policy Plan on Asylum - guide
The European Commission has adopted a Communication on "A Common immigration policy for Europe: principles, actions and tools" and a Policy Plan "Asylum – an integrated approach to protection across the EU". The Communication puts forward ten Common Principles on which to base the common immigration policy, grouped under the three main strands of EU policy: prosperity, solidarity and security. The Policy Plan on Asylum provides for the architecture of the second phase of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). Both address the remaining elements on immigration and asylum of The Hague Programme. They should be endorsed by the European Council of 15 October 2008 and will, in the course of 2009, feed into a new five-year EU Programme in the Justice, Freedom and Security area.

The EU common immigration policy - guide
The European Commission has adopted a Communication on "A Common immigration policy for Europe: principles, actions and tools" and a Policy Plan "Asylum – an integrated approach to protection across the EU". The Communication puts forward ten Common Principles on which to base the common immigration policy, grouped under the three main strands of EU policy: prosperity, solidarity and security. The Policy Plan on Asylum provides for the architecture of the second phase of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). Both address the remaining elements on immigration and asylum of The Hague Programme. They should be endorsed by the European Council of 15 October 2008 and will, in the course of 2009, feed into a new five-year Programme in the Justice, Freedom and Security area.

Working Time and Working conditions for Temporary Agency Workers - EU guide
EU Member States reached political agreement in the early hours of 10 June 2008 on the long-standing issues of the European Union Working Time Directive and the Temporary Agency Work Directive at the Employment and Social Affairs Council in Luxembourg.

112, the single European emergency number - guide
The European Commission has stepped up its efforts to promote the use of the charge-free European emergency number 112 in the EU. As of on 3 June 2008, the new website ec.europa.eu/112 tells citizens how to use 112 and what to expect from it, particularly when they travel within the EU. It also shows how 112 functions in each EU Member State: how quickly calls are answered and in which languages.

Financial inclusion - guide
The study “Financial Services Provision and Prevention of Financial Exclusion”, prepared for the European Commission, aims at identifying and analysing the most effective policy measures to prevent financial exclusion of people facing poverty or social exclusion.

Special Eurobarometer survey on health and long-term care
According to this Eurobarometer report carried out in 2007, most Europeans expect to need long-term care at some point in their lives (with an EU average of 13% seeing this as inevitable, 32% likely and 29% unlikely but possible). However, 86% of Europeans would prefer to be cared for in their own homes or that of a relative should they become dependent, as opposed to only 8% preferring an institution. (pdf format)

Mediation in civil and commercial matters - guide
The European Parliament and the EU's Council on 23 April 2008 gave the go-ahead for an EU law to encourage mediation for cross-border legal disputes. The directive promotes the use of mediation as a faster and cheaper alternative to going to court in civil and commercial cross-border disputes.

Mediation in civil and commercial matters - summary
The European Parliament and the EU Council on 23 April 2008 gave the go-ahead for an EU law to encourage mediation for cross-border legal disputes. The proposed directive is aimed at promoting the use of mediation as a faster and cheaper alternative to going to court in civil and commercial cross-border disputes.

EU strategy on the rights of the child - update
The European Commission is engaged in the implementation of its strategy on the Rights of the Child, which was announced in its 2006 communication "Towards an EU strategy on the rights of the child". A number of actions envisaged in the communication have already been launched. The EU has developed various concrete policies and programmes on children’s rights, spanning both internal and external policies and covering a broad range of issues, such as child trafficking and sexual abuse, violence against children, discrimination, child poverty, social exclusion, child labour, health and education.

Debate Europe - giving citizens a voice - guide
The European Commission wants to increase citizens' involvement in the EU decision-making process. In a Communication entitled 'Debate Europe – building on the experience of Plan D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate', it put forward on 2 April 2008 a set of future actions to foster a general and permanent debate on the future of the European Union among people from all walks of life, at both national and EU level.

Gender mainstreaming of employment policies in practice
The European Commission just published an expert report analysing gender mainstreaming in practice in the field of employment policies. The report also presents concrete examples of gender mainstreaming implemented over the last few years in 30 European countries.

Women and men in decision-making
This website on women and men in decision-making gives an insight into the relative numbers of women and men participating in the decision-making process and taking up leadership positions in the European Institutions, the 27 Member States of the European Union, the EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), and two of the EU candidate countries (Croatia and Turkey). The website contains data and indicators that cover decision-making in political, public and juridical and social and economic domains both on European and national level. For the political domain only, decision-making at regional level is also covered.

European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) - guide
The European Commission on 13 February 2008 presented a Communication on the creation of a European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR), with the main purpose of preventing unauthorised border crossings, reducing the number of illegal immigrants loosing their life at sea and increasing the internal security of the EU by contributing to the prevention of cross-border crime.

112 single emergency number - guide
112 is a telephone number that can be used to call emergency services anywhere in the European Union. As European citizens travel more and more to other countries, for business or pleasure, a single emergency number is needed. It should be the same number throughout the European Union, so that they no longer need to remember several different numbers, but only one, wherever they go. This factsheet offers answers to your questions on the 112 single emergency number.