Report on social developments
232 pages
English
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Report on social developments

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232 pages
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REPORT ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENTS
YEAR 1988
Brussels - Luxembourg
(Addendum to the 'Twenty-second General Report on the
Activities of the European Communities 1988' in accordance
with Article 122 of the EEC Treaty)
COMMISSIO
OF THE EUROPEAN
COMMUNITIES ENT ΕΓΓΡΑΦΟ
n mu »niinivnnni»! This publication is also available in the following languages:
ES ISBN 92-826-0222-2
DA ISBN 92-826-0223-0
DE ISBN 92-826-0224-9
GR ISBN 92-826-0225-7
FR ISBN 92-826-0227-3
IT ISBN 92-826-0228-1
NL ISBN 92-826-0229-X
PT ISBN 92-826-0230-3
Cataloguing data can be found at the end of this publication
Luxembourg : Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1990
ISBN 92-826-0226-5
Catalogue number: CB-58-90-465-EN-C
© ECSC-EEC-EAEC, Brussels · Luxembourg, 1990
Reproduction is authorized, except for commercial purposes, provided the source is
acknowledged.
Printed in Belgium Commission of the European Communities
REPORT
ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENTS
- Year 1988 -
Brussels - Luxembourg
(Addendum to the "Twenty-second General Report on the Activities of the
European Communities 1988" in accordance with Article 122 of the EEC
Treaty)
Document This document has been prepared for use within the Commission. It does not
necessarily represent the Commission's official position.
Copyright ECSC-EEC-EAEC, Brussel - Luxembourg, 1990
Reproduction is authorized, except for commercial purposes, provided the
source is acknowledged. CONTENTS
A. Introduction
Β. Social developments in the Community in -joss
C. Statistical appendix INTRODUCTION
In the course of 1988 the Commission gave new impetus to the social
dimension of the internal market. On 14 September it adopted a working
paper on the social dimension of the internal market1^ stressing the
Importance of this element In the process of building the Community. This
paper also indicates the measures which the Commission plans to take In
this field. This Is In line with the Single European Act (especially those
provisions adding new Articles 118a, 118b and 130a to the EEC Treaty),
which declares one of the Community's alms to be the strengthening of
economic and social cohesion. It also follows on from the European Council
in Hannover2^, where the Heads of State or Government stressed the
Importance of the social dimension for the achievement of the objective set
for 1992. In the conclusions of the presidency, the European Council noted
that, as the Internal market had to be conceived in such a manner as to
benefit all of the Community's citizens, it was necessary to Improve
working conditions and the standard of living, the protection of health and
safety, access to vocational training and information, and consultation and
dialogue with the two sides of Industry.
The Commission paper thus has a twofold objective. First, it sets out the
principles on which the social dimension of the internal market should be
based: the promotion of employment, a strengthening of economic and social
cohesion, and an intensification of the dialogue with management and
labour. Second, It constitutes a work programme setting out the measures
that have to be taken in the short term.
1) SEC(88)1148 final, 14.9.1988.
2) Bull. EC 6-1988, points 1.1.1 et seq. and point 3.4.1 - 2 -
The establishment of a Community social foundation entails the attainment
of a multiplicity of different objectives: the formulation of an active
employment policy, the achievement of genuine freedom of movement for
persons, Improved protection of the health and safety of workers, and the
reinforcing of labour law, social solidarity and the social dialogue. The
principles and essential elements of these objectives could be embodied in
a Community charter of basic social rights. In November the Commission
asked the Economic and Social Committee to exchange views and examine In
detail the possible content of such a charter.
The social dialogue between the two sides of industry, Initiated on the
basis of conclusions reached at the Val Duchesse meeting on 12 November
1985 and developed under Article 118b of the Treaty, was actively pursued
in 1988 with the encouragement of the Commission. The Working Party on
Macroeconomics, which met on 16 February and 28 June, discussed a
Commission working paper on the Community's economic situation and growth
prospects and the relationship between growth and employment. On 6 December
the representatives of the two sides of industry examined the annual
economic report for 1988-89, the determinants of investment and differences
in the level of wage costs, but no joint opinion was issued. The Working
Party on New Technologies and the Social Dialogue met on 11 April, 5 July,
28 October and 9 December and finalized a draft joint opinion concerning
the consequences of the new technologies in relation to the adaptability of
the labour market, with a view In particular to Increasing the
competitiveness of European firms and working conditions and terms of
employment.
In the face of continuing high levels of unemployment, the Commission
continued to concentrate its efforts on the policy guidelines contained in
the action programme on employment growth set out by the Council In Its
resolution of 22 December 19861). As regards the analysis of the labour
1) OJ C 340, 31.12.1986. - 3 -
market, the Commission began a detailed study of the new forms of
employment, the integration of young people - particularly their role in
setting up new businesses - illicit work and the use of Community surveys.
The Commission also extended the LEDA programme1) on the analysis of
developments at local level, prepared the implementation of the Council
conclusions of 1 December 1987 on long-term unemployment2) and developed
MISEP3).
In the field of health and safety at work, the Commission transmitted a
series of proposals to the Council on 11 March on the basis of Its own
programme4^ and the Council resolution of 21 December 1987^). These
proposals comprised a framework Directive^) and five individual Directives
to lay down minimum requirements for workplaces, equipment and machinery at
work, personal protective equipment, workstations incorporating VDUs and
work involving the handling of heavy loads. The Council (Labour and Social
Affairs) approved a common position on the framework Directive at its
meeting on 16 and 17 December.
On 9 June the Council adopted a Directive7) to protect workers by banning
certain specified agents and/or work activities. In addition, on
16 December the Council adopted, on a proposal from the Commission, a
Directive8) amending the Directive of 27 November 1980 on the protection
of workers from the risks related to exposure to chemical, physical and
biological agents at work.
1) Local employment development action programme: OJ C 161, 21.6.1984.
2) OJ C 335, 15.12.1987.
3) Mutual Information System on Employment.
4) OJ C 28, 3.2.1988.
5) OJ C 28,.
6) OJ C 141, 30.5.1988; Bull EC 2-1988, point 1.2.4.
7) OJ L 179, 9.7.1988.
8) OJ L 356, 24.12.1988. - 4 -
On 9 June the Council adopted a common position on the proposal for a
Directive on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure
to benzene at work (fifth Directive under Article 8 of the Directive of 27
November 1980)1). This was rejected by Parliament in second reading on 12
October2).
In 1988 commitment appropriations available to the European Social Fund
amounted to ECU 2 899.18 million. The breakdown by Member State shows that
around 19.10% of the assistance approved went to the United Kingdom, 18.6%
to Italy, 15.5% to Spain, 11.7% to France, 10.4% to Portugal, 7.6% to
Greece and 6.7% to Ireland. It should also be noted that on 16 December3),
on a proposal from the Commission4), the Council approved exceptional
financial support for Greece in the social field.
As regards education and vocational training, the Council and the Ministers
for Education meeting within the Council on 24 May discussed a Commission
communication entitled "Education in the Community. Medium-term prospects:
1988-92"5). They held an initial exchange of views on the topics and areas
for priority action on which cooperation in the educational field should
concentrate, especially in the run-up to 1992. In particular, following a
discussion on the teaching of foreign languages, the Ministers took note of
the Commission's intentions in this connection. On 21 December the
Commission adopted, for transmission to the Council, proposals for
decisions relating (i) to the establishment of the Lingua programme to
encourage the study of foreign languages in the Community and (II) to
measures to encourage the teaching and learning of foreign languages under
this programme.
1) OJ C 349, 31.12.1985.
2) OJ C 290, 14.11.1988; Bull. EC 10-1988, point 2.1.82,
3) OJ L 362, 30.12.1988.
4) OJ C 209, 9.8.1988.
5) Bull. EC 5-1988, points 1.2.3. to 1.2.9.