Commissioner Thyssen said “Our social protection systems need to remain sustainable for the future. I believe that upwards social convergence is the key to achieve this. We can encourage gradual upwards convergence by establishing minimum standards, expressed in benchmarks. These can cover for example the duration and level of unemployment benefits, minimum income or access to child care or basic health care. I believe the European Semester would be the appropriate instrument to monitor its application”. EAPN stands ready to support the Commissioner on all these issues.
However, EAPN regrets the lack of an integrated approach, with a clear commitment to access to rights, to supporting people through personalized approaches into quality jobs/social protection and services.
EAPN also deplores the lack of real mechanisms that would ensure that a balance between economic and social priorities, as mentioned by Commissioner Dombrovskis, particularly through the European Semester.
Rebalancing the economic approach entails ensuring social objectives are delivered not undermined as they are now. The involvement of civil-society stakeholders as well as social partners is crucial in this process, yet this involvement is still not a reality.
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