Employment policy

(Photo: European Commission)

Employment policy

The Lisbon Treaty includes as one of the objectives of the EU a "high level of employment”. High employment is not a criterion in the Economic and Monetary Union, which has the fight against inflation as its priority.

Article 5 TFEU of the Lisbon Treaty opens up new possibilities for economic co-ordination and employment-related cooperation through legally binding "measures" including regulations and directives. 

The Lisbon Treaty has a special chapter on employment policy in Article 145-150 TFEU. 

Incentive measures and pilot projects may be decided by a qualified majority in the Council and co-decision with the European Parliament. No harmonisation of national employment rules is permitted and there is not yet a common EU economic policy geared to maximising employment. Instead, the EU seeks to influence national employment policies by means of "guidelines". 

The so-called Lisbon-process seeks to affect employment issues by means of benchmarking and other forms of voluntary co-ordination. This is called the Open Co-ordination Method.

After the 2005 revision of the Lisbon Process, so-called integrated employment and economic 3-years, guidelines are addressed to the member states. The latter have to transform them through “National Reform Plans”.




European Commission: Employment, social affairs and equal opportunities http://ec.europa.eu/social/home.jsp?langId=en 

Scadplus: Economic and social policy: http://europa.eu/scadplus/leg/en/s02300.htm