Recommendation on the integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market

The European Council, heads of state and government of the EU member countries, reached an agreement on the recommendation [1] which aims at providing guidance to support Member States in securing a return to work of people who are long-term unemployed.In order to help Member States to decrease the number of long-term unemployed, the recommendation proposes specific actions to be taken at national level to strengthen service provision and individualised services for the long-term unemployed that are implemented by employment and social services. How the recommendation will be implemented depends on different national, regional or local situations. Member States designate the authorities in charge, which can be employment services or other service providers, depending on national circumstances.

Service provides can identify which authority has been designated to implement the specific actions outlined in the recommendation and suggest collaborating to improve the services provision to long-term unemployed. They can use the proposals in the recommendation as justification for tailor made service provision in labour market integration work. Next, social service providers can use the focus on engaging with employers to promote actions by public authorities. Lastly the recommendation can be used to examine how to use the EU structural and Investment Funds to support initiatives promoting labour market integration, and use the text to support project applications.

Since its launch in 2015, there has been done an administrative data collection on the implementation in 2017 [2] and a public consultation to ask for recommendations[3]. EPR consulted members and transmitted their feedback into a response to the consultation. As a follow up a strategic meeting was organized by the European Commission in November 2018 to discuss the Recommendations at which EPR also gave input. The Commission will take the outcomes of this discussion on board within the evaluation of the Recommendation.

[1] The Council can, on a proposal from the Commission, make recommendations to the Member States (Art. 292 sentence 1-3 TFEU).

[2] See