Responding to a record 10% unemployment in the EU, the union “is launching a programme for more employment,” [leads Süddeutsche Zeitung](http://Süddeutsche Zeitung article (de) http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/beschaeftigungspakt-eu-startet-programm-fuer-mehr-jobs-1.1333435). Faced with harsh criticism for its austerity policies, the European Commission is taking on what is usually considered a domestic issue: social policy and the labour market. The Commissioner tasked with the challenge, László Andor, is to present this week an “employment package” that aims to create 17 million new jobs by 2020.

The main measures of this plan are: complete opening up of labour markets, both private and public, to all European citizens – including Romanians and Bulgarians – “appropriate minimum wages” that will let employees live off their labour, mutual recognition of degrees, and lower labour taxes.

The Commission hopes the most potential lies in the health sectors, services for the elderly, development of a sustainable climate-friendly economy, and in IT, though it remains to be seen whether states will allow interference in their social affairs. The plan will be discussed at the EU summit in June.