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Report assessing employment and social progress under Europe 2020 strategy: work-life balance and gender equality among post-2020 priorities

On the 6th of November 2019, the Social Protection Committee (SPC) and the Employment Committee (EMCO), two advisory policy committees to the Ministers in the Employment and Social Affairs Council (EPSCO), published a report assessing the Europe 2020 strategy. Social Platform (of which COFACE Families Europe is member) contributed an opinion to this report that was published in an annex.

The report analyses the progress achieved in the area of employment and social affairs under the Europe 2020 strategy, looking particularly at the progress made against the headline targets for employment, poverty and social exclusion. It also highlights the lessons learned from its implementation. Furthermore, it contains an assessment of the impact of the work done by the SPC and the EMCO. Finally, it looks at the structural challenges for the next 10 years that need to be taken into consideration in discussions on a possible post-2020 strategy.

With regard to the Europe2020 poverty and social exclusion target, limited progress has been made so far concerning the target of lifting 20 million people out of the risk of poverty or social exclusion. After rising markedly following the crisis in 2008, the total number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion (AROPE) is now back below the 2008 level, but remains far from the original objective of a reduction of 20 million. In 2017 there were around 4.2 million fewer people in the EU living at risk of poverty or social exclusion compared to 2008, with a total of 113 million.

The report highlights structural challenges for the years ahead which need to be addressed, namely:

  • Demographic trends, the ageing of the population, and long-term care systems;
  • The impact of technological change on the labour market, and the financing of social protection systems;
  • The transition to an environmentally sustainable economy;
  • Societal changes such as rising poverty and inequality, the need for work-life balance and gender equality, changes in family structures and more;
  • Upward convergence of national social protection systems and social cohesion.

The report is available for download here.