Parliament supports the objective of reducing unemployment by 25% in 2020

The European Parliament voted in plenary session on 8 September a report setting its position in favour of coming to an employment rate of 75% by 2020. In the report on policy guidelines for long-term occupation, MEPs stressed that Member States should pay particular attention to vulnerable groups like young and the disabled people.

According to Parliament's consultative report on employment guidelines, Member States should set their national targets so that the percentage of women and men between 15 and 24 years active in education, training or employment will reach 90%. The text also calls for reducing the drop-out rate below 10%, while increasing at least 40% the proportion of people between 30 and 34 who completed higher education or equivalent. The employment guidelines are an instrument of the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs that provides targets to be achieved by Member States in the field of employment and social inclusion.

The Chamber's report also stresses that Member States should create more and better quality jobs, reduce unemployment and increase participation in the labour market by 75% of the active population.

Moreover, EU countries should increase the employment rate by 10% by 2014, paying particular attention to youth, women, disabled, older workers and unskilled workers and immigrants.

Targets for reducing poverty

Governments are called upon to establish national targets to reduce by 25% the number of European citizens living below the national poverty lines, a situation of poverty and economic difficulties that EU citizens feel increasingly close to their environment. These objectives would result in lifting over 20 million people out of poverty, taking into account that child poverty must receive special attention.

Lastly, to boost income security at various stages of life, Member States should ensure adequate minimum incomes that are at least above the poverty line.

The text has received 566 favourable votes, 59 against and 66 abstentions.