HRD IN THE EUROPEAN UNION: INTERNET INFORMATION SOURCES

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1 CARDS 2004 Local Partnerships for Employment Phase 2 This project is funded by the European Union EuropeAid/121013/C/SV/HR: Service Contract No EU CARDS 2004 Local partnerships for employment - Phase 2 HRD IN THE EUROPEAN UNION: INTERNET INFORMATION SOURCES April

2 Introduction USEFUL INTERNET INFORMATION SOURCES REGARDING HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT IN THE EUROPEAN UNION This document is developed for the purpose of providing an overview about Internet information sources regarding Human Resources Development (HRD). This overview covers sources in the European Union (EU), and sources in Croatia which are related to EU accession. The overview is primarily for local and national stakeholders who are involved in partnership development or in local employment development policy creation and delivery. Since there is an overwhelming set of information available through the Internet, the intention of this document is to collect and briefly introduce a structured set of kick-off sites through which readers can access the most important current information, and obtain links to further specific information sources. The document follows the thematic structure of identifying * first, the basic sites of the European Union, * second, the EU s employment and HRD related web pages, * third, the EU s sites regarding financial instruments supporting HRD, * fourth, specific local employment development related sites, * fifth, relevant Croatian web pages on EU accession, and development. Please note that all the links incorporated into this document reflects the situation at March 2007; any future changes of web-addresses, links, or structure of sites should be followed by the interested stakeholders. 1. The European Union through the Internet The most important information on community issues, economic and employment situation, and development opportunities and experiences of the European Union is available on its official web site in all the official languages (e.g. English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Slovenian, etc.): If you are interested in official statistical information from EU the website of Eurostat is the main place to search: portal&_schema=portal If you are interested in a broader set of information on employment and human resources development issues outside of the European Union, you may wish to visit web pages of international organisations such as: International Labour Organisation of the United Nations: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): 2

3 2. The EU s Employment and HRD related pages Within the European Union, employment and social policies are highly prioritised. EU activities in the field are summarized under the address (English version): All the three main decision-making actors: the European Parliament (directly elected by citizens); the European Council (representatives of the members states); and the European Commission (representing common EU interest); devote sessions for employment and social policy on their websites. The employment related documents are under broader economic policy on the website of the European Council D=79&LANG=1&cmsid=351 The European Commission has a unit responsible for employment related issues. It is called Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities (DG Employment). The main task of this DG is addressing the major challenges and formulating concrete responses with a view to achieving strategic objectives, more specifically as regards: employment (European Employment Strategy); structures in the world of work (regulating the European labour market, developing social dialogue at European level, and making the EU workers more mobile); social exclusion and social protection; equality between men and women. The European Commission has set up some specific agencies to support HRD related researches, development, and dissemination of knowledge. The most important are: The European Training Foundation (ETF). Working on behalf of the EU, the ETF assists the EU partner countries in developing quality education and training systems and in putting them into practice. The European Training Foundation has a separate session on Croatia. The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP). CEDEFOP has the mission to promote the development of vocational education and training in the European Union. The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The role of the Foundation is to provide information, advice and expertise on living and working conditions, industrial relations and managing change in Europe for key actors in the field of EU social policy on the basis of comparative information, research and analysis. 3

4 The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OSHA). The mission of the Agency is to make Europe's workplaces safer, healthier and more productive. The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC). EUMC s role is to provide the Community and its Member States with objective, reliable and comparable information and data at European level on racism, xenophobia and anti- Semitism in order to help them when they take measures or formulate courses of action within the spheres of competence. The European Commission acknowledges the importance of Public Employment Services in forming, managing and implementing employment policies in the Member States, and encourages the cooperation of the services throughout the Union. The intention is to move forward towards creating the united labour market. There are two important initiatives to mention here: Through the EURES program, the European Job Mobility Portal was created in order to make all information regarding national labour markets and employment in different states equally accessible for all job searchers. The Public Employment Services also advertise job vacancies on this site, so it is a direct help for citizens of EU to find recruitment and advice in other countries within the EU. In Spring 1997 a network was created between the European Public Employment Services to promote co-operation and exchange. The network operates on the basis of annual work plans that are defined and discussed at half-year meetings of the Chief Executives of the national Public Employment Services. Core objectives are: to support the modernisation of employment service delivery systems, and to optimise the contribution of Public Employment Services to the implementation of the European Employment Strategy and to the integration of the European labour market. Documents related to this network are available through: 3. The EU s financial instruments supporting Human Resources Development The main financial instrument for employment and social development available for member states is the European Social Fund (ESF). All important ESF related documents, and many examples are accessible through the ESF website of the European Commission: The decision making processes, and procedures to use ESF funds are defined in the following documents: Regulation (EC) No 1081/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the European Social Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1784/

5 Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1260/ General summary about Structural funds, and access to all related documents are available through the Internet site of Directorate General Regional Development The links between the ESF and the European policy framework the European Employment Strategy are being reinforced for the new programming period of so that the ESF can contribute more effectively to the employment objectives and targets of the "Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs". The integrated guidelines for growth and jobs bring together the Commission's recommendations on the Broad Economy Policy Guidelines (BEPGs) and the proposals on employment guidelines for the period They are the principal policy instrument for developing and implementing the Lisbon Strategy. Please find summaries for this policy framework, and access to all the relevant information through: The European Commission puts efforts to create a clear and transparent framework for using the structural funds assigned for contributing to the implementation of the strategy for growths and jobs. The European Commission created several working documents that identify e.g. the guidelines for putting principles such as additionality into practice, identifies common indicators for monitoring and evaluation, methodological support for evaluation, etc. You can access these important working papers through: ESF supports relevant policies of Member States, so that implementation is through the national level. Member States create the national strategic reference framework, and national and regional operational programs, and negotiate with the Commission. These programming documents define the use of Structural funds in the member states. The national documents are available through national web pages. The following page serves as a gateway to national sites that provide information specifically on national and regional development programmes. The countries with the status of candidate to membership can access the new single Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) fund from 2007, of which there are 5 main components. Component no. 4 is human resources development. General IPA related information is available through: The most important documents defining how to access and use the funds from IPA are identified in the following documents: Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 of 17 July 2006 establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) 5

6 The Multi-Annual Indicative Financial Framework for identifies the financial allocation of funds to all programme components of each candidate county. Information about each candidate country and its accession process is available through the specific site of EU enlargement. You can access relevant information on Croatia s process of accession through the following site: 4. Local Employment Development (LED) The European Employment Strategy has supported since the beginning the development of a territorial dimension of employment policies, underpinned in recent years by the emergence of regional and local action plans throughout Europe. There have been significant efforts to understand better, and to promote local contribution to finding solution to, local problems. You can read about these actions, and evaluations under the Local Employment Development session of the website of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities: The most important recent projects of DG Employment are the following: IDELE was a 3-year rolling programme launched by the Commission in November 2003, in order to identify, disseminate and exchange good practices among Member States in LED. Thematic collection of project examples, and summary papers are available through the project s website: FALDE - The New Member States and Local Employment Development: taking stock and planning for the future. The aim of FALDE project was to identify priorities with respect to Local Employment Development (LED) in the New Member States of the EU, in keeping with the goals of the European Employment Strategy and wider EU objectives, and thereby develop future strategy with respect to LED in these countries and in the EU as a whole. Research reports and project progress reports are accessible through the following site: Linking Local Actors ( ) - the Commission launched the 2-year project Linking Local Actors in December 2005, with the aim of developing a dynamic web-based tool to support the exchange of relevant information between the Commission and actors active in LED and between those actors themselves. The Commission launched the Promoting Benchmarking within LED project at the end of In developing effective local employment strategies, it is useful to learn from the experience of others who have faced, or are facing, similar issues in other localities. By the setting of standards and identification of synergies, benchmarking can constitute a "learning system", helping to transform local approaches into better governance. So benchmarking can be regarded as an important contribution to the implementation of the European Employment Strategy at local level. Project publications are available through the project website: 6

7 Practical Handbooks on Developing Local Employment Strategies were developed and published in 16 different versions one for each of the 15 Member States that were EU members prior to May 2004, and a general one for New Member States and Candidate Countries. The set for the 12 New Members States are currently under preparation. You can download any of the currently available handbooks from the following site: If you are interested in a wider set of information on local employment development including examples from outside the EU, you could study the program documents of the LEED Programme of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The LEED Local Economic and Employment Development Programme identifies analyses and disseminates innovative ideas for local development, governance and the social economy. Governments from OECD member and non-member economies look to LEED and work through it to generate innovative guidance on policies to support employment creation and economic development through locally based initiatives. The website is under OECD s site: 5. Important web sites in relation to EU accession and economic and employment development of the Republic of Croatia There is a systemized collection of web pages in Croatian with EU related information available through the site of the Croatian Parliament: (English version: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and EU Integration as main responsible body for EU integration of the Republic of Croatia at government level devotes pages to keep citizens informed about the steps of the accession process. (English version: There was a national level agency created in order to coordinate national development planning and manage pre-accession funds called Central Office for Development Strategy and Coordination of European Funds. Their Croatian web site is: The Ministry of Sea, Tourism, Transport and Development is the main responsible governmental actor to coordinate regional development in Croatia. The development related issues are published on its web site: (English version: The European Commission is represented by its Delegation in Croatia, which has its own web site both in Croatian and in English: (English version: 7

8 The Central Finance and Contracting Unit under the Ministry of Finance is the main responsible actor for using the pre-accession funds assigned to Croatia from the EU. You can find information about available funds, and project implementation through their site. (English version: The Croatian Employment Service as main responsible actor for implementing the national employment policy publishes information related to employment development, and related EU projects on its web site: (English version: The Croatian Chamber of Economy created special Internet site for promoting business development in regards EU integration. The site is called Euro Info Correspondence Centre: (English version: EnterEurope is a program to provide general information on EU integration issues mainly for students, researchers, civil servants and business community in Croatian. * * * * * * * 8

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