The local integration of immigrants in the OECD countries has improved over the last ten years. The first OECD study on local integration of immigrants (this is also the title of the study) which was presented on December 3, 2012 researched the treatment of immigrants and their children in the individual OECD countries. Indicators were education, health as well as living conditions, income conditions and working conditions.
For increase in competitiveness of companies, Government saving and wage reductions at the same time have become the strategy for overcoming the economic crisis for many countries. The experts of the International Labor Organization (ILO) consider this course of action as a wrong approach. This is shown in the Global Wage Report of the ILO, which was presented in Geneva on December 7, 2012.
2012 will not go down as a growth year in the annals of the EU. In its autumn assessment presented on 7 November 2012, the EU Commission actually predicted a reduction in GDP by 0.3 percent for the EU economy in the current year. The EU Commission expects slight economic growth again in 2013. On the other hand, the assessment predicts that unemployment will remain at a high level.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), 30 million more people around the world are now unemployed compared to the onset of the global economic crisis in 2008. Another 40 million people are no longer available in the employment market since the affected individuals have given up hope of a regular job.
CARS 2020 is the EU Commission's action plan for the European automobile industry. Helping the industry maintain its leading position in global competition is the objective. The plan presented on 8 November 2012 in Brussels is the first component of the European Union's new industrial policy introduced in 2010.
The development and expansion of a trans-European transportation network (TEN-V) is being subsidised with co-financing by the European Union. EUR 200 million is available this year for 74 projects selected by the EU Commission. Roads, waterways, rail links, airports and seaports are eligible in principle.
Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, presented a report on the state of leading indicators for the Europe 2020 strategy on 1 October 2012. The strategy was approved by the European Council in 2010. It is aimed at a high level of employment, productivity and social cohesiveness.
The directive valid in the European Union governing the regulation of working hours dates from the year 2003. New legal regulations aimed at adjusting to suit the profoundly changing working world are considered overdue. This affects, among other aspects, on-call services, minimum rest times and the flexible calculation of weekly working hours. A proposal for a new directive is to be submitted by the end of 2012.
The ruling of the German Federal Constitutional Court on 12.9.2012 cleared the way for Germany, as the final eurozone country to do so, to ratify the contract for the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). On that very day, the EU Commission presented a schedule for the consolidation of the shared Euro currency. This underpins the announcement made one week previously by Mario Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank (ECB). The Euro will be definitively defended by the ECB.
By Tetsuya Umehara, Plum Field Advisory
What has been described as the "lost decade" in Japan refers to the economic and social stagnation after the boom period at the end of the 80s to the beginning of the 90s. Since the collapse of the economic boom in 1991, the Japanese economy has experienced a series of years of zero, minor negative, or minor positive growth. During this period, quality of life, household income and unemployment remained at the same level without any serious critical decline or growth. Now, there is talk of the "lost decades", highlighting the fact that the Japanese economy has been on hold for the past 20 years.
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