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Guides on the EU Social Policy.
Proposal for a Directive on combating sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, repealing Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA
On 29 March 2010 the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new Directive on combating sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. It follows up a previous proposal tabled in 2009. The Directive, if approved, will replace current EU legislation dating from 2004 (Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA).
Clearer EU rules for international couples - briefing
An Austrian woman marries a British man in the UK. The couple lives for two years in Austria with their son. The husband then leaves and the wife wants a divorce. However, she doesn't know which law will apply to her divorce. Can she get a divorce under Austrian law or does UK law apply? Thousands of Europeans find themselves in such difficult situations each year because each EU country has its own system for deciding which country’s law applies to divorces. The European Commission has proposed a concrete solution: a law that will allow couples to choose which country's laws apply to their divorce. The proposed EU Regulation will help couples of different nationalities, couples living apart in different countries or living together in a country other than their home country. The aim is to lessen the burden on children and to protect weaker partners during divorce disputes. There are around 300,000 international marriages per year in the EU. Today's proposal follows a request from 10 Member States (Austria, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia and Spain) and would be the first time the "enhanced cooperation" mechanism would be used in EU history.
Tackling the gender pay gap - briefing
The European Commission plans to use a series of measures aimed at significantly reducing the pay gap between men and women over the next five years. The average gender pay gap in the EU currently stands at 18%. To lower this rate, the Commission plans to raise awareness among employers, encourage initiatives to promote gender equality and support the development of tools to measure the gender pay gap. On the other hand, new legal measures are not excluded. The Commission intends to consult the European social partners and analyse the impact of a number of options: strengthening sanctions, providing pay transparency and regular reporting on the pay gap. A Eurobarometer survey released today shows that more than 80% of Europeans support urgent action to address the gap.
Social Security Rights
EU rules introduced in 1971 coordinate European countries’ social security schemes, offering solutions to most cross-border problems that may arise. These rules were updated and a new, improved coordination system will enter into force in May 2010.
European System of national and regional accounts in the Community
The purpose of this Regulation is to make available comparable, up-to-date and reliable information on the structure and developments in the economic situation of the Member States of the EU and their regions.
EU Fundamental rights and citizenship (2007-2013)
This decision establishes the "Fundamental rights and citizenship" programme covering the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013. The programme forms part of the general programme "Fundamental rights and justice" and is intended to promote the development of a European society based on respect for fundamental rights, to strengthen civil society and encourage an open and transparent dialogue, as well as to fight racism and xenophobia and improve mutual understanding between the judicial and the administrative authorities and the legal professions.
EU Fundamental rights and citizenship (2007-2013)
This decision establishes the "Fundamental rights and citizenship" programme covering the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013. The programme forms part of the general programme "Fundamental rights and justice" and is intended to promote the development of a European society based on respect for fundamental rights, to strengthen civil society and encourage an open and transparent dialogue, as well as to fight racism and xenophobia and improve mutual understanding between the judicial and the administrative authorities and the legal professions.
Renewed commitment for non-discrimination and equal opportunities
This EU Communication provides a comprehensive approach through which the European Commission is renewing its commitment to further non-discrimination and equal opportunities in the European Union. It presents the latest developments and aims to strengthen the legal framework against discrimination as well as the policy tools for promoting equal opportunities.
Simplification of regulation on international successions - briefing
The European Commission has adopted a proposal that should considerably simplify the rules on successions with an international dimension in the European Union. The aim is to make life easier for citizens by laying down common rules enabling the competent authority and law applicable to the body of assets making up a succession, wherever they may be, to be easily identified. In addition to providing more effective guarantees for the rights of heirs, legatees and other interested parties, the proposed Regulation will take some of the stress out of succession planning by enabling people to choose the law that will govern the transmission of all their assets. The Commission is also proposing the creation of a European Certificate of Succession enabling an heir or the administrator of a succession to prove their capacity easily throughout the EU.
'Investing in People' 2007-2013
'Investing in People (2007 – 2013)' is the main thematic instrument of the European Commission for support of programmes in the area of human and social development, on top of country programmes that form the corner stone for the implementation of the EC activities in this area.
Policy Coherence for Development
When exploring ways to accelerate progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDG), the European Union (EU) considers how non-aid policies can assist developing countries in attaining the MDGs. The EU activity in this field is not only a key political commitment in the context of the MDGs, but also has a firm legal basis in the Treaty establishing the European Community (Article 178).
Calypso - Social Tourism in the EU
Social tourism proves that economic and employment opportunities, key goals within the Lisbon strategy, can indeed be generated by increasing tourism accessibility for additional strata of the European population. By facilitating tourism access in European Destinations for society groups for which going on holiday represents a difficult or even impossible undertaking, social tourism strengthens the tourism industry's revenue generation potential. Social tourism encourages the creation of longer-lasting employment opportunities in the tourism sector by making it possible to extend such jobs beyond the respective peak season.
Calypso - Social Tourism in the EU
Social tourism proves that economic and employment opportunities, key goals within the Lisbon strategy, can indeed be generated by increasing tourism accessibility for additional strata of the European population. By facilitating tourism access in European Destinations for society groups for which going on holiday represents a difficult or even impossible undertaking, social tourism strengthens the tourism industry's revenue generation potential. Social tourism encourages the creation of longer-lasting employment opportunities in the tourism sector by making it possible to extend such jobs beyond the respective peak season.
EU Social Policy Contacts
 
A European Private Company Statute
Progress must be made to improve access for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the Single Market and to promote their development in the European Union. The European Council proposes the adoption of a European Private Company Statute enabling companies to be set up across the Community, under simplified conditions.
ESF Activities: Businesses undergoing change
For the 2007-2013 programming period, the European Social Fund (ESF) is supporting actions aimed at anticipating and managing economic and structural changes to ensure more and better jobs for Europe.
European Social Fund (ESF)
The ESF invests in people, with a focus on improving employment and education opportunities across the European Union. It also aims to improve the situation of the most vulnerable people at risk of poverty.
Community Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity - PROGRESS, 2007-2013
The overall aim of the European Union's PROGRESS programme is to financially support the implementation of the objectives of the EU in employment, social affairs and equal opportunities, as set out in the Social Agenda. It will thereby also contribute to the achievement of the EU Growth and Jobs Strategy.
The European Observatory on the Social Situation and Demography
The European Observatory on the Social Situation and Demography consists of four multi-disciplinary networks of independent experts established for the European Commission in 2005. Its aim is to analyse social and demographic trends and to assist the Commission in its duty to report on the social situation.
Monthly monitoring report on EU employment and social situation - Feb 09
In response to the need to closely monitor the rapidly changing situation on a more frequent basis and provide up-to-date information on recent developments following the economic crisis which hit in October 2008, a new monthly monitoring report on the EU labour market situation and outlook has been established in 2009. The report provides a factual, descriptive update which aims to shed light on the situation in European labour markets on a more timely basis.