Programme for Social Change
Fight against youth unemployment a priority for MEPs
By Irina Smirnova-Godoy | Thursday 12 July 2012
The European Parliament’s Committee on Employment (EMPL) decided, during its meeting on 10 July, to add the fight against youth unemployment as a fourth key element of the EU’s Programme for Social Change and Innovation (PSCI). The rapporteur was Jutta Steinruck (S&D, Germany). MEPs adopted a legislative resolution on the proposal for a regulation establishing the PSCI for the period 2014-2020.
The PSCI integrates three existing programmes - Progress (Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity), EURES (European Employment Services) and the European Progress Microfinance Facility - and extends their coverage.
MEPs also agreed to change the title of the programme by replacing ‘social change’ with ‘social progress and employment’. They introduced definitions for ‘social innovation’ and and ‘social policy experimentation’ in order to prevent the use of the instrument’s funds for projects without added social value.
The term ‘social enterprise’ is defined as an enterprise whose primary goal is to achieve social objectives rather than generating profit for its owners. A ‘social enterprise’ is managed in an accountable and transparent way, in particular by involving workers, customers and stakeholders affected by its business activity.
Between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020, 63% of PSCI’s €958.19 million funding will be allocated to the Progress axis. The EMPL committee decided to increase allocations in all areas of funding: employment policy will get 20% more and funding for projects aimed at improving working conditions will go up by 10% (18% and 8%, respectively, in the original proposal). The most significant increase goes to social protection, social inclusion and the ‘reduction and prevention’ component of this axis: +50% (previously 24%).
YOUTH IN FOCUS
The fourth axis - fight against youth unemployment - will be financed through an overall 5% increase of the PSCI budget. The EMPL committee also stipulates that 50% of the Progress programme’s employment component should be spent on fighting youth unemployment.
Within EURES, cross-border cooperation gets a boost with a 40% increase in allocations, and mobility programmes get 20% more on condition that they are conducive to sustainable quality employment.
According to Rule 138 of the EP’s Rules of Procedure, the virtually unanimous adoption of the legislative resolution on the Steinruck report will pave the way to its adoption in plenary without further amendments or debate.
Three-way negotiations on the programme took place simultaneously with the EMPL committee vote.