European_Commission.svgYesterday, the college of commissioners gathered in Strasbourg held an orientation debate on the economic and social dimension of the Single Market. The main topics discussed were the single market, the mobility of workers inside the EU (labour mobility), and a European pillar of social rights.

Regarding labour mobility, last June, Eurodiaconia sent to the Commission its policy position about the key challenges that the revision of the coordination of social security systems in Europe, targeted by the labour mobility package, should address. This position, based on the findings of a consultation with members that provide support to EU mobile citizens in destitution, proposes to remove concrete barriers faced by EU mobile citizens as they try to enter labour markets and access social security systems in host Member States, as well as to prevent work abuses and illegal work, underlining that these are two sides of a same coin.

Yesterday in Strasbourg, European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said: ”The EU has to return to the path of more jobs and social convergence. This as a matter of urgency. Labour markets are still suffering from high unemployment levels, but they are also changing fast, not least in the face of globalisation, societal changes and technological innovation. Our response requires a mix of policies aimed at advancing growth and the European social market economy. In promoting labour mobility, we have to take into account the needs and concerns both of the countries jobseekers are leaving, particularly considering the risk of brain drain, and the needs and concerns of the countries where they wish to work.” Following introductory remarks by Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, the discussions focused on how to guarantee fair rules for the free movement of workers in the Single Market.

The outcome of the debate will feed into the preparations for the Labour Mobility Package to be presented before the end of the year.

Read the European Commission’s press release here.