The Council endorsed the joint EMCO/SPC opinion on the examination of national reform programmes 2011.
Despite the encouraging signs of economic recovery across the EU, the impact of the economic crisis continues to be felt in labour markets. Unemployment persists at high levels, long-term unemployment continues on the rise and regional disparities are accentuated in Europe. Youth unemployment is dramatically high in several Member States and calls for urgent action at national and European levels.
Improving the provision, adequacy and quality of education and training systems and addressing skills mismatches, both for young and adult population, remains high in the reform agenda of almost all countries and is necessary to achieve productivity growth. [extract]