EU Pensions debate:
July the European Commission adopted a Communication on Supporting
national strategies for safe and sustainable pensions through an
It proposes that the EU governments adopt a so-called open coordination
process regarding pensions. In the document, the Commission defines open
coordination in the following way:
The open method of co-ordination involves setting common objectives,
translating these objectives into national policy strategies and,
finally, as part of a mutual learning process, periodic monitoring on
the basis inter alia of commonly agreed and defined indicators.
The Commission document proposes ten objectives for pension reform,
organized under the 3 principles agreed by the Gothenburg Summit:
adequacy of pensions, financial sustainability of public and private
pension schemes, modernization of pension systems in response to
changing needs of society and individuals.
It proposes that Member States should draw up national pension
strategies and submit them by the summer of 2002. They would then be a
basis for further work by the Commission and Council of Ministers. A
report would be made to the Spring European Summit in 2003. A major
review should be carried out in 2005, following a dialogue with all
The Commission is asking Member States to agree on this process in
November-December 2001: endorsement at the European Summit in Laeken,
Belgium, in December.
Attached to this message are two very useful information tables included
in the document: the role of different EU institutions and policy
committees, and a timeline of the next steps proposed by the Commission.
The full document (18 pages) is now on the EU website in several
different languages, at
However there is currently a problem which means that in order to get
the correct document, you have to click on the language versions (EN, FR
etc.) rather than the title.