Brussels Commentary Employment Committee Jan 22nd, 23rd 2014
Debates this week on eleven topics such as,-
*Economic and social aspects in the Annual Growth survey, 260 amendments and adopted by 32 to 3
*How can the EU create a hospitable environment for enterprises and new jobs
*Proposal for a directive for Seafarers
*Social Summit for Growth and Employment
*Directive to promote inland waterway transport
*Posting of workers
* Five discharges listed not debated. That's saying OK to spending already made.
Otherwise none of these topics were voted on this time while Votes were taken on a text on "Rights of Freedom of movement of workers", but without debate, adopted by 31 to 1
Finally, a debate and vote on, "Are tools in place to monitor the effectiveness of European Social Fund spending on Older Workers", which arose from the Auditors Special report. Adopted it by 33 to 2 without even offering me a slice of the Social Fund! So mine was one of the 2 votes against.
After all this a presentation by the Greek minister for Labour, Mr Yannis Vroutsis since it is the start of the Greek presidency and at the change all Committees get a visit by the appropriate minister.
He sounded just like his boss, the Greek premier a week earlier. The problems are not just of Greece, there is instability in the whole EU. Greece is now showing positive signs. In the last year employment has now stabilised reflecting the economy as a whole and Greece will show a surplus this year.
Their top priority will be to tackle Youth Unemployment. In the wider employment field their "Artemis" program will tackle undeclared work which denies the Greek exchequer of revenue.
They will press on with equal opportunities and try to end discrimination. In particular they will seek to achieve a gender balance on company boards.
A bit like most of the initial presentations by Ministers of Member States.
Derek Clark MEP Brussels 23rd Jan 2014