What is the European Employment Strategy?

Companies with an interest in global growth should investigate the European employment strategy. In 1997, European Union (EU) member states worked to establish joint objectives and goals for the EU’s policy on employment. The goal is to create a greater number of jobs throughout the EU, and to ensure they are good jobs with potential for growth. The European employment strategy is part of the larger decade-long Europe 2020 strategy.

What is the Europe 2020 Strategy?

The Europe 2020 strategy set the EU’s agenda for growth and jobs to be achieved by 2020. Goals of the strategy are:

  1. Improve the EU’s global competitiveness
  2. Enhance worker productivity
  3. Create a foundation for a sustainable social market economy
  4. Overcome the region’s structural economic weakness

National Targets Support the European Employment Strategy

Each EU member state has the same national targets covering jobs, energy, poverty, and other measures. Many of the measures support the European employment strategy. Targets related to jobs, education, and investment include:

  1. 75% employment for those aged 20-64 to support the European employment strategy
  2. Investment in research and development at 3% of the member state’s Gross Domestic Product
  3. 40% or more of the population in the age range of 30-34 having degrees in higher education

EU member states provide data to the EU to report on their progress. As a result, progress reports have a wealth of information showing how each state is performing to the targets.

Leveraging the European Employment Strategy across 28 Member States

EU employment law protects worker rights across all of the region. However, within each member state, the employment laws often work differently. As a result, companies looking for growth in the EU must navigate differences and nuances in employment law across 28 member states. Navigating so many different member state laws can be challenging. Also, it may require a significant amount of resources to set up entities in any given region. Administrative resources must be in place to ensure compliance with EU and member state laws.

What Should Employers do About the European Employment Strategy?

Companies currently in the EU that want to leverage the European employment strategy should look into the various member state employment laws to ensure compliance. They should also look into several support programs for job creation. EU Structural Funds are in place to support employment growth, including:

  1. European Regional Development Fund

Promotes jobs at the provincial level and increases regional labor market attractiveness.

  1. European Social Fund

Supports job growth at companies and organizations, as well as new job creation. Develops resources to help workers find jobs.

Companies not currently in the EU that want to grow quickly should look into the services of an International Professional Employer Organization (PEO). International PEOs provide an employer of record solution for companies to expand quickly into new markets. The PEO will manage all aspects of the employment relationship in the EU, from onboarding to pension arrangements. Companies may be able to achieve significant savings compared to the cost of setting up their own foreign entity in the EU.


GMS’ team of global relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients understand how to grow their company’s international employment. Our team can also help your company understand how to work with an International PEO. Whether through global relocation or the services of an International PEO, our team can help your company leverage the European employment strategy.

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Contact our experts online to discuss your company’s interest in leveraging the European employment strategy, or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.