Today the European Commission announced its initiative on getting the long-term unemployed back to work. The proposal for a Council Recommendation, presented by Commissioner Thyssen, suggests that all jobseekers, who have been out of work for more than 12 months, receive individual assessment and a job integration agreement. The ETUC supports its objective.
Józef Niemiec, Deputy Secretary General of the ETUC, said “Any action to help the long-term unemployed is welcome. But these proposals will not make a major difference. They are only recommendations – no one is obliged to do anything – and there is no additional funding to implement them, in particular for those countries most affected by the crisis.
“What the long-term unemployed most need is a job-rich economic recovery, driven by an employment-oriented investment plan. Juncker’s investment plan is a good first step, but too small.
“In the meantime the unemployed are being driven into poverty because less than 35% of the short term unemployed actually receive unemployment benefits, and over 70% of those unemployed for 18 months or more receive no unemployment benefit.”