PES EPSCO ministers: Council must make progress on Platform Work Directive today

Member of the PES EPSCO ministerial meeting in Luxembourg

Member of the PES EPSCO ministerial meeting in Luxembourg

Platform work is under-regulated, leaving Europe’s 28 million ride-share drivers, delivery riders, and other platform workers with inadequate rights and social protection. It is time for the Council of the EU to agree its general approach on the Platform Work Directive, employment and social affairs ministers from the Party of European Socialists said today.

Meeting in Luxembourg to coordinate before the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO), ministers took stock of progress on the Directive.

18 months ago, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit put forward a proposal for a Directive. S&D lawmaker Elisabetta Gualmini spearheaded work on the file in the European Parliament, with MEPs adopting the Parliament’s position in February. In Council progress has stalled, and today, the EPSCO will revisit the file.

Portugal’s Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security Ana Mendes Godinho, Chair of the PES EPSCO Ministerial network, said:

“We want Europe to be a frontrunner in the digital transformation but also to manage it in a humane way. That means making sure all workers, especially those in platform work, enjoy strong protections, in particular when it comes to their legal status and when confronted with algorithmic management. We have a duty to our citizens to ensure that new forms of work provide decent jobs. Establishing derogations or restrictions to the legal presumption would only perpetuate the existing imbalance between the platforms and the individuals that perform digital work.

“Adopting this Directive by the end of this legislative mandate is essential. We must move forward so there is sufficient time for trilogue negotiations. We are confident these negotiations will result in a strong Directive – and not a Directive of minimums – establishing clear and transparent rules to be applied by all member states, which delivers for workers.”

Ministers also reflected on the 2023 Porto Social Forum and reaffirmed their commitment to 2030 headline targets, foreseeing an acceleration of the European Child Guarantee, as well as reinforced upskilling efforts in view of the twin transition. The Forum is an invaluable tool to periodically reviewing social progress and European dialogue on social issues.

One of the key deliverables was a letter signed by 37 European leaders, including Minister Ana Mendes Godinho, Commissioner Nicolas Schmit on behalf of the Commission, EPSCO Ministers, the European Parliament, Social Partners and Civil Society arguing that the EU’s economic prosperity goes hand in hand with its strong social dimension and renewing the spirit of the Porto Social Commitment and the Porto Declaration.

Ahead of the Porto Social Forum, the PES organised a PES Social Summit to communicate its social rights priorities.

The meeting also discussed the Social Convergence Framework and warmly welcomed efforts by Spanish and Belgian colleagues to introduce new mechanisms to address social imbalances.

PES EPSCO ministers welcomed Slovenia’s Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunity, Luka Mesec, to the meeting as an observer.

 The meeting was attended by:

  • Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, European Commission
  • Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen, Minister for Employment, Denmark
  • Tuula Haatainen, Minister for Employment, Finland
  • Rolf Schmachtenberg, State Secretary at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Germany
  • Georges Engel, Minister for Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, Luxembourg
  • Michael Falzon, Minister for Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights, Malta
  • Miguel Fontes, Secretary of State for Labour, Portugal
  • Cristian Vasilcoiu, State Secretary to the Minister for Labour and Social Solidarity Protection, Romania
  • Borja Suárez Corujo, Secretary of State of Social Security, Spain
  • Luka Mesec, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Slovenia (Observer)
  • Marc Angel, Vice-President of the European Parliament, S&D
  • Agnes Jongerius, EMPL Coordinator, Member of the European Parliament, S&D
  • Esther Lynch, General Secretary, ETUC
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES