PES welcomes European Commission proposals to fulfil Social Pillar

PES welcomes European Commission proposals to fulfil Social Pillar

Commissioner Nicolas Schmit today delivered on a key priority that socialists have been pursuing since 2017: the Action Plan for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

This long-term vision for Social Europe contains clear targets, ambitions, and an array of PES policies. The measures – building on Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE) and fair wage proposals – are an essential part of Europe’s policy arsenal for a fair recovery, and the digital and green transitions. 

Beyond employment, this is an Action Plan for social inclusion with measures to fight poverty and make sure no one is left behind. 

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“This Plan paves the way for increased social protection and more quality jobs, which is needed now more than ever. It is a huge success for Europe and our drive to translate the Pillar’s principles into real-world improvements for citizens. 

“The Plan comes alongside more welcome announcements on employment support, gender pay transparency and the empowerment of people with disabilities.

“Commissioners Schmit and Dalli are opening up the way for a social decade with real progress on rights and equality. This is Europe’s roadmap for a fair recovery based on wellbeing and social progress. It is the right path.

“We expect heads of government to send a strong signal in Porto in favour of this social turn. With a strong Action Plan reinforced by the Summit outcomes, the EU can answer citizens’ calls and pave the way for a decade of tangible social progress.”

The Social Action Plan – alongside Effective and Active Support to Employment (EASE), the Pay Transparency Directive, and the Disability Strategy – represents a paradigm shift away from austerity and towards reinforced protection and equality for all.

The PES strongly welcomes the EASE initiative to support job creation, strengthen skills, support jobseekers, and provide schemes for paid internships, job transitions and start-up grants. Building on the Youth Guarantee successes, this will ensure recovery money boosts employment.

The Pay Transparency Directive presented by Equality Commissioner Helena Dalli is another welcome announcement, which will help achieve the gender equality objectives enshrined in the Pillar. The Directive – a measure from the Gender Equality Strategy – obliges companies to report on gender pay inequalities and gives rights to workers to request information on their pay level. This will help to detect gender pay discrimination and contribute to better laws around pay equality, and must be complemented by gender mainstreaming across the Pillar’s policies. Gender employment gaps and pay gaps, invest in care and social services, work-life-balance, representation, stereotyping and gender-based violence must also be addressed as part of the Pillar.

The PES also commends the Disability Strategy. Socialists and democrats believe in equal and accessible societies for all, based on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Strategy will help make this vision a reality.