In this document, EAPN sets out its proposals for an Action Plan to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR), as a part of its response to the European Commission’s public consultation. It builds on EAPN’s policy position papers on the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) developed together since its launch with its national and European Organisation members: Last Chance for Social Europe (2016), Response to the EPSR: Making Social Rights the beating heart of Europe (2017); Response to the Social Fairness Package: Making a difference to people in poverty (2018), as well as EAPN monitoring reports on the implementation on poverty, social rights and participation through the European Semester and specific thematic reports. This paper strongly builds on our Position Paper for Delivering Agenda 2030 for people and plant: EAPN proposals for a Post Europe 2020 strategy.
In this position paper, we underline the need to ensure that the Action Plan for the EPSR builds on the emergency measures being put in place by Member States to deal with COVID-19 to:
- reinforce adequate income (quality jobs with fair living wages and minimum income and social protection income support)
- access to key public and essential services (public health and care services, education, training and lifelong learning and social, affordable housing).
We call for a high-profile EPSR Action Plan proposing soft and hard law measures, with a clear timetable at EU and national level, mapping progress towards obligatory social rights that guarantee basic living standards for all EU residents. The Action Plan should include an EU strategy to fight poverty as the overarching goal and framework for the Action Plan with an ambitious poverty target.
These are the 7 overarching EU pre-requisites we believe necessary for a successful Action Plan:
- Support short-term responses to COVID-19 and ensure they lead to long-term reductions in poverty and inequality
- Promote a coherent Europe 2030 Strategy – a Social and Green Deal!
- Adopt an EU integrated strategy to fight poverty as the framework for social rights
- Adopt an ambitious EU 2030 poverty target to support upward convergence!
- Propose EU Legislation to enforce Social Rights for all!
- Improve monitoring and implementation of rights through EU soft instruments
- Put people at the heart – empowering people to contribute to solutions, holding governments to account
We highlight specific proposals to implement 5 Key EPSR principals as priorities, grouped with other relevant principles and underpinned by the SDGs, to be implemented through EU hard law and soft instruments namely:
- Principle 14: Minimum Income. SDG 1.
- Principle 12: Social Protection. SDG 1 and 10
- Principle 6: Fair Wages, connected to Principles 3, 4, 5 and 8 – SDG 8.
- Principle 20: Access to Essential Services, connected to Principles 19, 16, 18, 11 – SDG 1,3,6,7,10,11.
- Principle 1: Education, Training and Life-long learning– SDG 4.