Brussels, 8 May 2014
Employment: Commission welcomes adoption of Decision to improve cooperation between public employment services
The European Commission welcomes today's adoption by the EU's Council of Ministers of a Decision to improve cooperation between public employment services. Member States' public employment services have a crucial role to play in helping the 25 million unemployed in Europe to get a job and in addressing skills mismatches.
Effective public employment services are essential for the practical implementation by Member States of employment policies, such as the Youth Guarantee, under which Member States ensure that young people are offered a job, further education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving school (see MEMO/14/13).
László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, said: "I warmly welcome today's approval of the Decision, less than one year since the Commission presented the proposal. Given the crucial role of public employment services in the effective implementation of the Youth Guarantee, this Decision is particularly welcome in terms of improving cooperation and exchanges of best practices".
The Decision, proposed on 17 June 2013 (IP/13/544), aims to help Member States' public employment services to improve their effectiveness through closer cooperation. It establishes a platform for comparing the performance public employment services against relevant benchmarks, identifying good practice and fostering mutual learning. The network will help Member States to implement the country-specific recommendations on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public employment services issued by the Council in the framework of the EU's annual review of Member States' economic and social policies, the European Semester (see IP/13/463).
Each Member State will nominate from the senior management of its Public Employment Service one member and one alternate member to sit in the Board of the Public Employment Services Network. The Commission will also appoint one member and one alternate member to the Board.
The role of Public Employment Services is currently being redefined in most Member States in order to turn them into more agile, modern and customer-oriented service providers to provide active employment solutions. Modern and efficient Public Employment Services need to develop greater cooperation with education and training bodies, foster synergies with private and other employment operators, pay closer attention to employers’ needs and to skills development and increasingly use information and communications technologies in an intelligent way.
An informal European Expert Group of Public Employment Services (PES) exists since 1997, providing timely and useful input to the Commission on employment issues.
The Decision will not only formalise its status and clearly define its tasks, but also facilitate the implementation of labour market projects financed by the European Social Fund (ESF).
Public Employment Services will continue to cooperate with each other within EURES, the pan-EU job search network.
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