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The Brexit process: Moving to the second phase of negotiations

20-12-2017

The first phase of Brexit talks between the EU and UK negotiating teams needed six rounds of discussion over seven months. Finally, on Friday 8 December, an agreement in principle on the three priority issues – citizens’ rights, a financial settlement and Northern Ireland – was reached. The European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, endorsed a joint report setting out a common understanding on the future withdrawal agreement. Whilst a number of specific ...

The first phase of Brexit talks between the EU and UK negotiating teams needed six rounds of discussion over seven months. Finally, on Friday 8 December, an agreement in principle on the three priority issues – citizens’ rights, a financial settlement and Northern Ireland – was reached. The European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, endorsed a joint report setting out a common understanding on the future withdrawal agreement. Whilst a number of specific aspects are still under discussion, the European Council decided on 15 December that 'sufficient progress' had been achieved on the first-phase priority issues, and that negotiations could move on to the second phase – on transitional arrangements and the future EU-UK relationship – provided the commitments from the joint report are fully translated into the draft withdrawal agreement. For the transitional period, the European Parliament and the European Council have made clear that all existing Union regulatory, budgetary, supervisory, judiciary and enforcement instruments and structures must apply, including the competence of the Court of Justice of the European Union, but with no UK participation in decision-making, since it would no longer be a member of the EU. Exploratory discussions on the framework for the future relationship will begin only after the adoption by the European Council of additional guidelines in March 2018. The UK has still to clarify its position on the type of trade deal it seeks with the EU.

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - December 2017

11-12-2017

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Sufficient progress in first-phase Brexit talks

08-12-2017

After seven months of talks, the EU and the UK reached agreement in principle on the key withdrawal issues, on 8 December 2017. The European Council (EU-27) of 15 December will decide whether sufficient progress has been achieved in order to proceed to the second phase of negotiations.

After seven months of talks, the EU and the UK reached agreement in principle on the key withdrawal issues, on 8 December 2017. The European Council (EU-27) of 15 December will decide whether sufficient progress has been achieved in order to proceed to the second phase of negotiations.

Statute for Social and Solidarity-based Enterprises

06-12-2017

Social enterprises combine societal goals with entrepreneurial spirit. These organisations focus on achieving wider social, environmental or community objectives. There is currently no specific European legal framework to help social enterprises to benefit from the internal market. Against this background, this European added value assessment identifies the challenges in the existing national legal frameworks regarding social enterprises. It argues that action at EU level would generate economic ...

Social enterprises combine societal goals with entrepreneurial spirit. These organisations focus on achieving wider social, environmental or community objectives. There is currently no specific European legal framework to help social enterprises to benefit from the internal market. Against this background, this European added value assessment identifies the challenges in the existing national legal frameworks regarding social enterprises. It argues that action at EU level would generate economic and social added value. Moreover, it outlines potential legislative measures that could be taken at EU level, and that could generate European added value through simplification and a coordinated approach in this area.

Implementation of the Social Pillar

05-12-2017

The European Pillar of Social Rights ('Social Pillar') was proclaimed and signed jointly by the Commission, Council and European Parliament, on 17 November 2017 at the Gothenburg Social Summit. The main challenge remains bringing this reference framework to all citizens across the EU. Due to limited EU competence in the social field, implementation is for the Member States, in cooperation with social partners. Parliament has repeatedly promoted the importance of focusing on three elements in the ...

The European Pillar of Social Rights ('Social Pillar') was proclaimed and signed jointly by the Commission, Council and European Parliament, on 17 November 2017 at the Gothenburg Social Summit. The main challenge remains bringing this reference framework to all citizens across the EU. Due to limited EU competence in the social field, implementation is for the Member States, in cooperation with social partners. Parliament has repeatedly promoted the importance of focusing on three elements in the implementation process: a life-cycle approach, governance and funding. The December plenary is due to hear statements from the Commission and Council, prior to the European Council meeting in December, at which there is to be further discussion on the social dimension of the EU, including education.

Poverty, gender and life cycle: Portraits of poverty in the European Union

30-11-2017

Nearly a quarter of the population in the European Union (23.8 %) were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2015. Living conditions, the degree of insecurity and the routes into and out of poverty vary according to age and gender, as well as varying over the course of a lifetime. Children are the most affected population in Europe today, while young people aged between 18 and 24 now represent 10% of those at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU. There is little difference between the ...

Nearly a quarter of the population in the European Union (23.8 %) were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2015. Living conditions, the degree of insecurity and the routes into and out of poverty vary according to age and gender, as well as varying over the course of a lifetime. Children are the most affected population in Europe today, while young people aged between 18 and 24 now represent 10% of those at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU. There is little difference between the sexes at this age, but it is a key difference among older people. The mid-life period is characterised by substantial variations based on gender, family circumstances and/or professional status. Women, single-parent families, large families or low-income workers are, at this point in their lives, more at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Lastly, older people are now simultaneously the least affected by poverty on average, and also among the most vulnerable, in the case of women.

The revision of the Posting of Workers Directive

12-10-2017

This briefing provides an update on the revision of the posting of workers directive in the European Parliament, and thus a follow up to the June 2016 study prepared for the EMPL Committee ‘Posting of Workers Directive - current situation and challenges’, the May 2016 EPRS appraisal of the Commission Impact Assessment ‘Revision of the Posting of Workers Directive’, and the March 2017 EPRS briefing ‘Posting of Workers Directive’.

This briefing provides an update on the revision of the posting of workers directive in the European Parliament, and thus a follow up to the June 2016 study prepared for the EMPL Committee ‘Posting of Workers Directive - current situation and challenges’, the May 2016 EPRS appraisal of the Commission Impact Assessment ‘Revision of the Posting of Workers Directive’, and the March 2017 EPRS briefing ‘Posting of Workers Directive’.

Reflection paper on the social dimension of the EU

07-06-2017

The paper on the EU's social dimension, the first of five papers within the white paper process, is the European Commission's contribution to a debate among the leaders of the 27 Member States (other than the UK), EU institutions, social partners and citizens on two major issues in the social and employment fields: the main challenges that Member States are facing and the added value of the various EU instruments available to tackle them. By the end of the process the EU should have a clear mandate ...

The paper on the EU's social dimension, the first of five papers within the white paper process, is the European Commission's contribution to a debate among the leaders of the 27 Member States (other than the UK), EU institutions, social partners and citizens on two major issues in the social and employment fields: the main challenges that Member States are facing and the added value of the various EU instruments available to tackle them. By the end of the process the EU should have a clear mandate from the Member States on the areas it should be tackling and on the extent of their commitment to working together. The results should feed into a document setting out practical measures for moving ahead, in time for the December 2017 European Council. The concepts 'social dimension' and 'social Europe' are interpreted in diverse ways across the EU and most of the competence developed over the past 60 years to implement policies remains with the Member States. In this context the Commission is proposing three alternative scenarios: an exclusive focus on the free movement of workers, development of a multispeed Europe, and genuine deepening of economic and monetary union across the EU-27. The successful implementation of the European pillar of social rights and related initiatives will depend a great deal on the outcome of this reflection process. The European Parliament has put forward several ideas on how to strengthen the social dimension of the European project, including by linking economic and social governance more closely, and increasing budgetary capacity so as to move towards upward convergence. This briefing is one in a series on the European Commission's reflection papers following up the March 2017 White Paper on the future of Europe.

Gender Gap in Pensions: Looking ahead

15-05-2017

The study was commissioned overseen and published by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee. The issue of gender gap in pensions has aroused increasing attention over recent years. While the current gap in pension levels between men and women reflects past labour market tendencies and design of pension systems, pronounced changes have occurred with regard to both employment of women and pension systems. The ...

The study was commissioned overseen and published by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee. The issue of gender gap in pensions has aroused increasing attention over recent years. While the current gap in pension levels between men and women reflects past labour market tendencies and design of pension systems, pronounced changes have occurred with regard to both employment of women and pension systems. The ageing population has stimulated revision to pension systems, including raising retirement age and the introduction of a closer correspondence between lifetime earnings and pension levels. These changes will influence the pattern in the future gender pension gap. This report recommends an approach to assessment of the future gender pension gap using the Forward-looking Gender Pension Gap Index. The index proposed spans two domains: the employment gap and pension system compensation. Both these domains impact tomorrow’s distribution of pensions between men and women.

The future of work in the EU

24-04-2017

Economic and technical changes are redrawing the map of the world of work: new jobs are appearing while others are becoming obsolete, and atypical work patterns are replacing full-time work and open-ended contracts. In addition, work is increasingly being carried out on online platforms connecting buyers and sellers, or by large project teams across borders and time zones. Robotics and digitalisation raise new questions, as machines are progressively replacing the human workforce for routine tasks ...

Economic and technical changes are redrawing the map of the world of work: new jobs are appearing while others are becoming obsolete, and atypical work patterns are replacing full-time work and open-ended contracts. In addition, work is increasingly being carried out on online platforms connecting buyers and sellers, or by large project teams across borders and time zones. Robotics and digitalisation raise new questions, as machines are progressively replacing the human workforce for routine tasks, and as new types of professional and personal skills are required to respond to technological progress. Active labour-market policies are needed to cater for the changing reality in the world of work. This concerns social security systems, which must adapt to new, constantly changing, requirements, unresolved ethical and practical problems relating to robotics, and the need for new digital skills, which are essential to survive in the new working environment.

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