The Department
Social Cohesion Development
Social Security
Access to Social Rights
Social Policy for Families and Children

Access to...

Social protection
Social Services


Joint cooperation programmes
Dissemination activities
Publications on access to social rights and other issues
Series Trends in social cohesion
Access to Social Rights


Access to Employment
Employment is one of the most essential social rights. Millions of people throughout Europe are unemployed or are at risk of becoming unemployed. The Council of Europe, therefore, promotes access to employment, especially for the most vulnerable members of society. A number of recommendations on how to improve access to employment have been developed in the Council of Europe, based on the best practices of many European countries.

A Committee of Experts on Promoting Access to Employment (CS-EM) prepared guidelines on local partnerships for the development of employment. They have particular relevance to the labour market situation in Central and Eastern European Member States.

Another Group of Specialists (CS-MA) looked into ways to improve access to employment for very marginalised and disadvantaged groups, such as people released from prison, victims of trafficking of human beings, homeless persons or drug users/former drug users. The group finalised a report and guidelines for policy makers in the spring 2004.

In order to translate these guidelines into practice, the Council of Europe carries out a number of assistance activities, mainly in South-East Europe and in Russia, Ukraine and South Caucasus. This includes the creation of local partnerships for employment or training the staff of the employment services. A Management Training Kit for the staff of social, health and employment services has also been published.

The Council of Europe is also involved in a process of cooperation on employment in South East Europe, the so-called "Bucharest Process", as the city where this process was launched, during a Ministerial conference on employment, in 2003. It aims to tackle unemployment in South East Europe by means of cooperation and exchange of experience among the beneficiary countries of the Stability Pact.

As revised by the "Sofia conclusions" in 2005, the "Bucharest process" aims :

to further improve the national employment policies, in order to pursue economic growth, social cohesion and regional stability with high and productive employment;
to promote adaptability in the labour market with special attention to facilitating access to employment by vulnerable groups;
to promote gender equality in national employment strategies;
to further improve in the effectiveness and coverage of public employment services.

Related documents
Guidelines on employment for marginalised groups
Guidelines on local partnerships for the development of employment
Study on Expanding the Labour Market for Social Cohesion

Publications on the "Bucharest process"
Employment Policy Review Albania.pdf

Employment Policy Review - Croatia

Employment Policy Review Moldova.pdf

Employment Policy Review Montenegro.pdf

Employment Policy Review Serbia.pdf

Employment Policy Review The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.pdf