On Thursday 19 January, the European Parliament adopted a report on the European Pillar of Social Rights, which provides detailed input for a future European Pillar of Social Rights on behalf of the European Parliament. The Pillar marks President Juncker’s flagship initiative in the field of employment and social affairs, first announced at his State of the Union address in late 2015.
Some key elements of the EP report are:
– A European Pillar of Social Rights should focus on upward social convergence across the whole EU, not just the Eurozone (its social standards and targets need to apply in all EU Member States)
– A call for a Child Guarantee ensuring that every child now living at risk of poverty has access to free healthcare, free education, free childcare, decent housing and proper nutrition
– An emphasis on the importance of adequate minimum income schemes for maintaining human dignity and combating poverty and social exclusion, as well as their role as a form of social investment in enabling people to participate in society
– A call for rebalancing the EU’s economic governance with targets building on the Europe2020 strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals
– A call for strengthening the European Social Fund, the Youth Employment Initiative, the Globalisation Adjustment Fund and the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived
Eurodiaconia was actively involved in the public consultation process around the Pillar, which lasted until the end of 2016. To learn more on Eurodiaconia’s response to the consultation questionnaire, please check out our consultation questionnaire (EN). To learn more on Eurodiaconia’s key recommendations, please check out our policy paper promoting upward social convergence (EN). The final shape and contents of the Pillar are expected to be made public in March or April 2017, in connection with a so-called ”White Paper on the future of the EU”.