a) What Member States and Social Partners can do
Member States are responsible for implementing the guidelines and recommendations on employment strategy which have been agreed at Union level. To give effect to the Principle, Member States are invited to update and extend their practices concerning the provision of assistance to find employment and self-employment and, in addition, to encourage measures to protect workers’ training and social protection entitlements when they change work.
At Union level, social partners are consulted in accordance with Article 154 TFEU on possible initiatives based on Article 153 TFEU, and may sign agreements which may be implemented at Union level at their request in accordance with Article 155 TFEU. The EU social partners at cross-industry level selected the effectiveness and quality of active labour market policies as a priority for their current work programme 2015-2017. Social partners may also collect and exchange good practices across the Union. At national level, social partners may support the implementation of this Principle via collective bargaining and through their involvement in the design and implementation of relevant policies.
b) Recent and ongoing initiatives at EU level
The implementation of the Youth Guarantee has been assessed in the October 2016 Communication “The Youth Guarantee and Youth Employment Initiative three years on”(36). In its December 2016 Communication "Investing in Europe's Youth"(37), the Commission proposed fresh actions to support youth employment and create more opportunities for youth.
To ensure a full and sustainable implementation of the Youth Guarantee, the Commission proposed to extend the budget of the Youth Employment Initiative and provide an additional €1 billion to the YEI specific budget allocation, matched by €1 billion from the European Social Fund as well as further support for outreach and information activities, mutual learning and monitoring.
The Commission is presenting together with the European Pillar of Social Rights a first-stage consultation of the social partners on an initiative concerning "Access to Social Protection",(38) in order to address varying access to social protection by workers in standard employment and people employed on non-standard contracts and in various forms of self-employment. The consultation will address the means to make rights transferable and transparent when changing employer, contract type or transitioning to self-employment. The consultation will also address the ways to reduce the gap in access to employment services, training, rehabilitation and re-insertion measures across various types of employment relationships and for the self-employed.
Furthermore, in 2017, the Commission will consolidate and put on a firm legal basis the European Solidarity Corps to create new volunteering, traineeships or work placements opportunities for young people.
The European Network of Employment Services (PES Network) is implementing the Benchlearning project, aiming to improve the PES' performance, linking indicator-based benchmarking with mutual learning in order to better address the active support to job seekers.
In June 2016, the European Commission proposed actions to support Member States in the integration of third country nationals in employment under the EU Integration Action Plan.(39)