The European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan outlined a path for the EU to reduce the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion by at least 15 million by 2030. However, the objective is becoming more challenging following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the EU’s responding sanctions. These events threaten the European’s recovery post pandemic and contribute to the deterioration of the social and economic climate. More concretely, unemployment, inequalities and poverty are projected to increase correlated to rising energy prices, price inflation, wage stagnation and the disruption of supply chains. Resoundingly, social protection systems are vital to mitigate these affects for all, particularly the most vulnerable.
However, the social protection systems are strained as they attempt to support EU citizens whilst also giving support to Ukrainian refugees to access essential services and the labour market. As a response, the European Parliament held a plenary vote on a resolution to address the social and economic impacts of the war on Ukraine. Members of Parliament envision this resolution as foundational to strengthening the EU’s social protection systems and influencing EU citizen’s continued solidarity towards Ukrainians and further sanctions.
In order to ensure strengthened social protection systems, the resolution calls for concrete actions from the Commission and Member States (not exhaustive in this article). Notably, the resolution proposes a New Resilience Package for the EU which asks for the continuation of the SURE Program implementation (temporary support to mitigate unemployment risks in emergencies). Equally, the Parliament calls for additional funding for the Child Guarantee, and improved access and funding for the care sector. Moreover, the resolution calls for Member States to coordinate policy frameworks regarding energy to support the most vulnerable by 2022. Finally, the Parliament calls on the Commission to organize a follow-up to the Porto Social Summit to address these social challenges and ensure the EU has the capacity to respond.
To learn more about the European Parliament’s resolution, click here.