S&D Euro MPs today welcomed the Commission’s proposals to bring back the social rights’ agenda to the European scene, but they expect concrete action and not just window dressing.
S&D Group vice-president responsible for employment and social affairs, Udo Bullmann said:
"The Socialists and Democrats are glad to see that social Europe is back on the agenda. The Commission's proposals oblige the European Parliament and member states to show their commitment to advancing social progress for all in Europe; but only if concrete results improving the everyday lives of Europeans are achieved will the initiatives the Commission launched this morning be judged as a success.
"We will put pressure on all political groups and national governments involved to create momentum for the development of a comprehensive EU social policy agenda.
"We expect concrete measures that ensure, for instance, decent working conditions in all forms of employment, especially by ensuring access to social protection for all and clarifying rights and obligations in employment relationships. Beyond that, we will keep on pushing for a European Child Guarantee so that children in the EU can prosper and build our common future without existential fears."
S&D Group vice-president and European Parliament rapporteur on the European pillar of social rights, Maria João Rodrigues added:
"We welcome the social pillar with 20 principles updating social standards, as demanded by the European Parliament. Nevertheless, we need a pillar for all European citizens, proper financial means, and legislative instruments for these principles to have a real impact on people’s lives.
"All workers should count on a decent labour contract with decent conditions and access to social protection, especially in the case of young people. We should also continue pushing for a Child Guarantee and a Skills Guarantee also focusing on the concerns of the long-term unemployed.
"We are still far from this. That is why we will keep fighting for more concrete actions to ensure better life prospects for people and promote upward social economic convergence between member states. This is the only way the EU will have a future."
European Parliament rapporteur on work-life balance and chair of the women’s rights and gender equality committee, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė stated:
"As Socialists and Democrats we are pleased that the Commission has responded to our call to improve the reconciliation of professional and private life. We welcome the legislative proposal which creates two weeks paid paternity leave for the first time at an EU level, as well as carers' leave.
"Furthermore, the Commission is proposing improvements on parental leave. Women and men taking parental leave will be paid, which was one of our key demands. We regret however that no progress is foreseen to strengthen maternity leave. Overall, we have a solid basis to build upon."
Our Reaction to the European Commission Proposal on Social Rights | Iratxe García Pérez