PES ministers for employment and social affairs are determined to strike a new balance for a more social Europe

PES ministers for employment and social affairs are determined to strike a new balance for a more social Europe

This was the message which PES employment and social affairs ministers delivered ahead of the EPSCO Council meeting in Luxembourg yesterday.

Ministers met to discuss concrete steps to strengthen the European Pillar of Social Rights and to update the social acquis.

PES ministers are determined to ensure that the pillar stays on top of the agenda and serves as a first step towards a Social Progress Protocol. They further stressed the urgent need for a Social Action Plan which guarantees that the Pillar is effectively implemented.

Luxembourg Minister Nicolas Schmit, Chairperson of the PES Social and Employment Ministers Network, said:

“Social rights must take priority over economic freedoms. With the Pillar of Social Rights we will continue promoting an ambitious European social model that strengthens cohesion throughout the EU. We want concrete measures that mark a clear social path for Europe. The Pillar must not simply become another initiative.”

The Ministers further published a joint declaration, in which they highlight the need to update the social acquis in order to address challenges arising from digitalisation and a changing world of work.

Pervenche Berès, Chair of the PES Social Europe Network said: 

“We want to make sure that all workers, whatever their status, are protected and benefit from decent jobs. Everyone has to be given equal access to the labour market and the capability to seize the opportunities offered by new technologies. Additional flexibility provided by new technologies must serve the people – not the other way round.”

Read the declaration


Participants to the ministerial meeting:

  • Nicolas Schmit Minister for Labour, Employment, Social and Solidarity Economy, Chairperson, Luxembourg
  • Michaela Marksová-Tominová Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Czech Republic
  • Jevgeni Ossinovski Minister of Health and Labour, Estonia
  • José Vieira da Silva Minister for Labour and Social Security, Portugal
  • Anja Kopač Mrak Minister for Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Slovenia
  • Jan Richter Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, Slovakia
  • Ylva Johansson Minister for Employment, Sweden
  • Maria João Rodrigues Vice-President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament
  • Pervenche Berès Chair of the Social Europe Network, PES
  • Luca Visentini ETUC Secretary General
  • Esther Lynch ETUC Confederal Secretary