S&Ds secure strong committee majority for pioneering report on the European Pillar of Social Rights

S&Ds secure strong committee majority for pioneering report on the European Pillar of Social Rights, S&D Group vice-president Maria João Rodrigues, Jutta Steinruck, employment and social affairs,

Today, S&D Group vice-president Maria João Rodrigues secured a strong majority in the employment and social affairs committee on proposals to strengthen social rights in the EU. The report on a European Pillar of Social Rights is designed to respond to new challenges in the labour market and reduce social inequalities. It is scheduled to be brought before the full Parliament during the January plenary session in Strasbourg.

Maria João Rodrigues stated after the vote:

“It is time to rebalance Europe’s economic governance and build a shared vision of a social Europe. We need a European Union that delivers the improvements in the economic and social conditions demanded by EU citizens and mandated by the EU Treaties. In particular, we need to ensure basic labour rights and social security coverage for all new forms of work, such as through online platforms. That’s why I am proud that the committee has backed the S&D’s call for a framework directive on decent working conditions in all forms of employment.

“The report also highlights that to make social rights real and enforceable, Europe needs better economic policies and proper financing for necessary public investments. I am looking forward to bringing this report before plenary in January. Ultimately, we need to make sure that the European Pillar of Social Rights becomes a core part of the roadmap on the future of the EU due to be agreed in Rome in 2017.”

S&D Group spokesperson on employment and social affairs Jutta Steinruck added:

“In a situation where a third of workers in the EU struggle to make ends meet, Europe needs a new social pact now more than ever. We need to restore the confidence of our fellow citizens; that political struggle can deliver a brighter future for them and their family. We need to build a social Europe of high quality jobs and fairness that people can feel and notice - where equality, security and social trust take the centre stage. This is why the European Pillar of Social Rights is so important.”

Some of the report’s key proposals on the European Pillar of Social Rights are:

1. Updating EU’s labour and social standards - and building up the means to achieve them in practice
2. Framework directive on decent working conditions in all forms of employment
3. Broadening social security to workers in new forms of employment
4. National wage floors and a European calculation of regional living wages
5. Secondary education and a Skills Guarantee for everyone
6. Legislation on paid leave for mothers, fathers and people needing to care for relatives, to enable work-life balance
7. Adequate public funding for social investments
8. Social targets for economic policies, to ensure sustainable development and improved conditions in all EU countries
9. Updated social standards and targets should apply to the whole EU, with some specific additional instruments for the Euro-area
10. The Pillar should be adopted as an agreement between the EU Institutions, involving social partners and civil society at the highest level