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Guides on the EU Social Policy.
The Social Investment Package
The European Commission has called on EU Member States to prioritise social investment and to modernise their welfare states. This means better performing active inclusion strategies and a more efficient and more effective use of social budgets. The call features in a Communication on Social Investment for Growth and Cohesion just adopted by the Commission. The Communication also offers guidance to Member States on how best to use EU financial support, notably from the European Social Fund, to implement the outlined objectives. The Commission says it will closely monitor the performance of individual Member States' social protection systems through the European Semester and formulate, where necessary, Country Specific Recommendations.
EU drug markets report: key findings
Europe is entering an important new era in the supply and demand for illicit drugs -- a development which is challenging current policies and responses. This is according to the first joint EU drug markets report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and Europol released today in Brussels. The two EU agencies have joined forces to provide the first strategic analysis of the European illicit drug market in its entirety. In the report, they describe a market which is increasingly dynamic, innovative and quick to react to challenges and one which requires an equally dynamic, innovative and agile response across Europe. The report unveils the ‘changing face of organised crime in Europe’: while, historically, the EU drug market has focused on specific drugs trafficked by specialised operators along well-defined routes, the contemporary market is more ‘fluid’, with new routes and multi-substance consignments becoming more common.
EU Strategy towards the eradication of trafficking in Human beings - guide
Hundreds of thousands of people are trafficked in the EU every year. Women and men, boys and girls in vulnerable positions are traded for the purpose of sexual or labour exploitation, removal of organs, begging, domestic servitude, forced marriage, illegal adoption as well as other forms of exploitation. The European Commission today adopted the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings (2012-2016), a set of concrete and practical measures to be implemented over the next five years. These include the establishment of national law enforcement units specialised in human trafficking and the creation of joint European investigation teams to prosecute cross-border trafficking cases.
Doing business in Portugal: Staff welfare
The Portuguese Labour Code defines the workplace rules applicable to the employees of a business.
Doing business in Luxembourg: Sustainability
Even though legislation in Luxembourg does not oblige businesses to adopt sustainability practices, the government gives advice on how improving companies' corporate social responsibility can be beneficial for them.
Doing business in Luxembourg: Staff welfare
The Labour Code in Luxembourg covers employee rights regarding health and safety in the workplace, discrimination, recruitment, dismissal, and employment contracts.
Doing business in Lithuania: Staff welfare
This guide outlines the major social rules on staff welfare in Lithuania.
Doing business in Latvia: Staff welfare
The guide summarizes the main legislation that sets out employment and social rules in Latvia.
Doing business in Hungary: Sustainability
Hungarian legislation defines certain rules that businesses have to follow in order to ensure that their activities do not have adverse social and environmental impacts.
Doing business in Hungary: Staff welfare
Social legislation in Hungary ensures equal opportunities for men and women and sets health and safety standards at the workplace.
Doing business in Cyprus: Staff welfare
According to Cypriot legislation, banning all forms of discrimination with regard to employment and gender equality in terms of employees' rights and obligations in the workplace is guaranteed through relevant acts, both in employment and in vocational education.
Doing business in Poland: Staff welfare
This guide outlines the social rules in Poland and the legislation that regulates workers' rights and employers' obligations.
Doing business in Denmark: Staff welfare
This guide summarizes the Danish legislation responsible for ensuring staff welfare.
Doing business in the Netherlands: Staff welfare
In the Netherlands, government rules on staff welfare can be found in the Working Conditions Act, the Working Conditions Decree, the government's Health and Safety Regulations and also its Guidelines on Working Conditions, including standards.
Doing business in Belgium: Staff welfare
Social legislation in Belgium prohibits discrimination and advocates equal opportunity and gender equality. Employers are responsible for promoting welfare within the company.
Doing business in the UK: Staff welfare
Labour legislation covers basic workplace standards which employers must follow. These include protection against discrimination, the right to equal pay and the national minimum wage.
The economic crisis and pensions in the EU
The EU has put forward a range of plans for adequate, safe and sustainable pensions. How does the economic crisis affect the pensions situation in the European Union?
Commission White Paper on pensions - guide
The European Commission as today issued a White paper on pensions. It puts forward policy initiatives to support Member States in the reform of their pension systems. The measures proposed by the White Paper aim to help people who are able to work longer and save more for their retirement. They aim to raise the average age at which people retire, reflecting the rising life expectancy, to encourage complementary private retirement savings and protect them, including when people change jobs and have to switch to other occupational pension schemes.
Proposal for a Regulation on the Statute for a European Foundation - guide
The European Commission has presented a proposal for a European Foundation Statute to make it easier for foundations to support public benefit causes across the EU.
European Social Entrepreneurship Funds - guide
Social businesses are companies that have a positive social impact and address social objectives as their corporate aim rather than only maximising profit. It is a growing sector in Europe, already representing 10% of all European businesses and employing over 11 million paid employees. While these businesses often receive public support, private investment via funds that invest in social entrepreneurs remains vital to their growth. However, such specialised social investment funds are rare or are not large enough. Cross-border investment in such funds is unnecessarily complicated and expensive. With today's proposal for a Regulation, the Commission lays the foundations for a strong European market for social investment funds. It introduces a new "European Social Entrepreneurship Funds" label so investors can easily identify funds that focus on investing in European social businesses. The approach is simple: once the requirements defined in the proposal are met, managers of social investment funds will be able to market their funds across the whole of Europe. To get the label, a fund will have to prove that a high percentage of investments (70% of the capital received from investors) is spent in supporting social business. Uniform rules on disclosure will ensure that investors get clear and effective information on these investments.