While EAPN welcomes that the time given for consultation should allow a meaningful engement, EAPN insists that we cannot wait for action to be taken to address the growing levels of poverty, exclusion and inequalities. So the EU leaders and institutions must press ahead and ensure greater attention to the follow up of the adopted poverty reduction target as part of the present round of implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy and the associated European Semester process.
The initiative on a pillar of social rights was announced by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in September 2015, and it is part of a greater initiative to strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), and, implicitly, its social dimension, by ensuring upward social convergence between Member States. The public consultation will run till the end of 2016, and a White Paper, building on the results of the consultation, is expected in early 2017. While targeted at the Eurozone, all Member States are welcome to join the initiative.
The main aims of the consultation are:
- to assess the EU social aquis – to what extent are existing rights implemented.
- to reflect on new trends in work patterns and societies – in light of demographic trends, new technologies, and taking on board social innovation.
- to gather views and feedback on the outline of the Social Pillar itself – its scope, content, role as part of the social dimension of the EMU.
Overall webpage of the initiative:
Communication on Launching the Consultation on the European Pillar of Social Rights:
- Annex: A European Pillar of Social Rights – First preliminary outline
- Staff Working Document: Key economic, employment and social trends behind a European Pillar of Social Rights
- Staff Working Document: The EU social acquis
Link to the public consultation, including the questionnaire:
- Press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-544_en.htm
- Questions & Answers: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-16-545_en.htm
- Factsheet: Factsheet – European Pillar of Social Rights