We provided expertise to Commissioner Vera Jourova in February 2016 in the context of an expert group meeting on the issue of work-life balance, legislative and non-legislative measures for working parents and carers.
The European Commission is an institution of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU.
The issue of work-life balance entails both practical company level initiatives, as well as regional, national and EU level policy measures. The European Commission is currently examining different options as to how the European Union could best support women's participation on the labour market, improving the situation of carers and take a life-course perspective on the issue of reconciling work, family and private lives.
We believe that the any policy initiative and campaign must take into account the changing world of work, digitalisation and globalisation. Employers and employees are confronted with new forms of work, as a result of societal, demographic and economic changes. More women finish tertiary education and want to enter the labour market. Younger men want to take a more active role in their families than previous generations. More and more Gen X are entering caring responsibilities for their Baby Boomer parents, at the same time caring for young children.
"I would like to thank you for your participation in our roundtable discussion on the 18th February 2016 in Brussels. We had a very open and rich debate in which you made an important contribution. You brought many relevant points and reminders to our attention; these will be very relevant in the elaboration of our future proposals." Vera Jourova
Companies and societies will be successful, if they harness these opportunities, rather than view them as obstacles. Legislation can provide an important leverage for minimum standards, but policy and legislation needs to constantly iterate with a mentality and culture change.