Responsibility for employment and social policy lies primarily with national governments. EU funding supports and complements their efforts.
To counteract the impact of demographic ageing, EU employment and social policy is designed to:
The EU also:
The European Commission encourages EU national governments to:
There are now EU laws to limit working hours, tackle workplace discrimination, make working conditions safer and ensure employees receive compensation for work injuries.
The EU promotes social security and inclusion by providing and coordinating funding to help member countries invest in people — in areas like childcare, healthcare, training, accessible infrastructure, help with finding a job – and to reform their social security systems.
Because the required skills and qualifications change over time, the EU has developed a set of initiatives to:
The EU and national governments are working together to coordinate social security schemes across the EU so that workers continue to receive their pensions and social security benefits when they change jobs and work in different EU countries. EURES — the network of European employment services – makes it easier for companies to recruit people from abroad and for people to work abroad.
Updated in November 2014
This publication is part of the 'European Union explained' series