Latest updated information on national social protection systems

MISSOC (Mutual Information System on Social Protection) is an online source of up-to-date and comparable information on social protection systems in European countries. This information comes from a network of officials from national ministries and institutions responsible for administering social protection. The network is coordinated by the MISSOC Secretariat on behalf of the European Commission.The latest updated (as of July 2017) information covering all the EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – including brief descriptions of their organisation and information on social protection for the self-employed – is now available in English, French and German. It provides amongst other things a brief overview of the situation for the self-employed and the ways in which arrangements for the self-employed differ from those for employees.This information is available on the MISSOC website, which can be accessed by clicking on the “Read more” button here below.



European Commission consults on definition of SMEs

On Tuesday 6th February, the European Commission launched a public consultation to review the definition of SMEs, according to Recommendation 2003/361/EC. SMEs receive preferential treatment in EU policies such as competition (state aid), structural funds, research and innovation (Horizon 2020).
Moreover, the SME definition is relevant for some European administrative exemptions and reduced fees, such as the Regulation on registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (REACH).
The Commission is currently preparing for an evaluation and possible revision of some aspects of the SME definition.



Growth at highest level for 10 years in Eurozone and EU

On 7th February, the European Commission’s interim winter economic forecast confirmed a return to growth in all countries of the European Union in 2017, with GDP growth of 2.4% in both the Eurozone and the European Union. This is the highest recorded level in ten years.
In 2017, all EU countries experienced economic growth, despite significant differences between Member States.
The Eurozone and the EU are expected to see GDP growth of 2.3% in 2018 and 2.0% in 2019. The Commission considers that uncertainty surrounding growth in general has diminished, while uncertainty related to the negotiations on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU is still apparent.
On the jobs front, the Commission notes an increase in employment of 1.6% in the Eurozone in 2017. At the same time, the unemployment rate in the Eurozone stood at 8.7% of the active population, which is the lowest rate since January 2009.



In memoriam : Ing. Massimo Calzoni

FIEC regrets to announce the sudden death of Ing. Massimo Calzoni, co-Chairman of the SOC-1 sub-commission on “Vocational training”.
Mr. Calzoni, was an engineer and Chief Executive and Technical Director of the  CALZONI SPA company, located in Perugia (Italy), mainly active in public works.
In recent years Mr. Calzoni held various positions both in Confindustria (the Confederation of Italian Industry) and in ANCE.
He was President of the regional Construction Association of Umbria, as well as of Formedil, the national organisation for vocational training in the construction sector.
Mr. Calzoni was also a member of the Council of Presidents of ANCE and Vice-President of Federcostruzioni, the Italian Federation of the construction supply chain.FIEC would like to convey its sincere condolences to his family and his colleagues.