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EU: Social factors to be considered when setting economic policy

EU: Social factors to be considered when setting economic policy

  • Europe
  • The EU is pushing for social factors to feed into the budget-setting process. The plan would see the creation of a social “scoreboard” to complement the economic data that is considered when national budgets are agreed with EU governments.
  • Parlementair Documentatie Centrum

The scoreboard will feature 5 main indicators:

  • unemployment
  • the rate of young people who are neither employed, nor in education/training
  • household disposable income
  • inequality
  • an at-risk-of-poverty index.

Social, not just economic

Under the plan, unveiled last week, trade unions and employers organisations will be more closely involved in formulating economic policy. The proposal is one of a number of measures designed to improve economic governance following the financial crisis.

The plan also responds to a recent EU summit which agreed that the 28 nation bloc needs to find better ways to monitor economic and social conditions.

The proposal is expected to feed into a discussion of the social dimension of economic integration in Europe at an EU summit in late October.

Tackling unemployment

Nearly a quarter of young people in the eurozone are currently jobless, but there are massive differences in youth unemployment rates between countries. The rate is highest in Greece at 62.9% and lowest in Germany at 7.7%. To tackle this, the EU wants to reduce the costs and hurdles of moving for work between countries.

The hope is that the new scoreboard will allow potential social problems in EU countries to be identified at an early stage and so allow pre-emptive action to be taken. If agreement is reached with the European Parliament and EU governments, the social scoreboard will feed into economic decision making from next year.

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