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17. 3.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 82/105

(98/C 82/172) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2548/97


by Jesús Cabezón Alonso (PSE) to the Commission
(24 July 1997)

Subject: Prospects held out by the extraordinary European Council on employment

Is it to be hoped that the extraordinary European Council on employment will achieve greater progress than the
Essen or Madrid European Councils?

(98/C 82/173) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2549/97


by Jesús Cabezón Alonso (PSE) to the Commission
(24 July 1997)

Subject: The forthcoming extraordinary European Council on Employment

It appears from statements by certain Council officials that the extraordinary European Council on employment
will be devoted mainly to analysing successful national job-creation practices.

Is any funding expected to be made available to support active employment measures?

Is it likely that decisions will be taken which contribute EU ‘value added’ to national employment policies?

Joint answer
to Written Questions E-2547/97, E-2548/97 and E-2549/97
given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission
(3 October 1997)

The inclusion of an employment title in the Treaty of Amsterdam places employment as a priority issue for the
Union on an equal footing with monetary and fiscal objectives. While primary responsibility for employment
policy remains with each Member State, employment is now considered as an issue of common concern, which
requires a coordination of policies at European level.

The new Treaty also requires that employment be taken into account in all Community policies. This means that
there will be an explicit assessment of the employment impact in the design and implementation of all policy
actions.

The convening of an extraordinary meeting of the European Council in November 1997 indicates the degree of
commitment of the Member States to immediate implementation of the provisions of the new Treaty. The
meeting is expected to focus on three issues: first an assessment of the employment situation and progress made
in the implementation of the European employment strategy, second, an examination of the manner in which
each Member State intends to implement the provisions of the Treaty, and identification of national best practice
in combatting unemployment and marginalization, and third, the definition of operational targets for national
employment policies of the initial guidelines on employment which the Commission will propose to Member
States.

Once ratified by all the Member States article 5 of the employment title will allow the Council to adopt incentive
measures to encourage cooperation between Member States, and support their action through initiatives aimed at
developing exchanges of experience and best practice.

The conclusions of the Presidency as well as the resolution on growth and employment adopted at Amsterdam
contain a political commitment for an early implementation of these provisions. The Commission will do
everything that is necessary to make this possible.