Pensions on EU summit agenda

BELGIUM – European heads of government meet at a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday - and pensions reform is on the agenda.

The Spring European Council is set to concentrate on the so-called "Lisbon Strategy" goals of economic reform, employment, social cohesion and sustainable development that were laid out at the Lisbon Summit in 2000.

Among those issues is social policy and pension modernisation.

“The Union is committed to preserving a high level of social protection based on the principles of solidarity and social inclusion,” says the summit’s agenda.

“In order to guarantee their adequacy and long-term sustainability, in particular when populations area ageing, the efforts already undertaken by member states to modernise their social protection systems must be intensified.”

The council would “call on member states to step up the pace of reform of social protection, including increasing employment of older people”.

And it recognises that there is not information about European pension systems. “There is a need to continue to develop indicators covering the adequacy, financial sustainability and modernisation of pension systems,” the agenda says.

The Lisbon Council set a goal for the European Union to become “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world” by 2010.

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