EUROPE - The European Commission will produce a green paper on demography and support member states in reforming pensions as part of its new social agenda for modernising Europe's social model under the revamped Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs.
The commission said the new social agenda had two key priorities: employment, and fighting poverty and promoting equal opportunities.
Under poverty and equal opportunities, the commission said the agenda would focus on analysing the impact of ageing populations and the future of relations between the different generations by launching a green paper of demography. It would also support member states in reforming pensions and health care and tackling poverty, the commission added.
On the employment side, the agenda will focus on creating a European labour market through enabling workers to take pension and social security entitlements with them when they work in different member states and by establishing an optional framework for collective bargaining across frontiers.
Announcing the new agenda, Vladimir Spidla, commissioner for employment, social affairs and equal opportunities, said: “[The new agenda] is about equipping everyone to manage the changes facing our society and about looking after the neediest.
“It is designed to preserve and modernise our valued social model as the essential tool underpinning Europe’s drive to boost growth and jobs.”
The agenda calls for partnerships between public authorities at local, regional and national level, employer and worker representatives and NGOs.
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