PES Social Europe Network presses for strong platform work Directive

Member of the PES Social Europe Network meeting in hybrid format, 26 January 2023

Member of the PES Social Europe Network meeting in hybrid format, 26 January 2023

Protect gig workers from exploitation by urgently adopting a strong Directive on platform work – this was the message sent to the EU Council and Parliament today by socialist member parties, MEPs, trade unions and civil society organisations meeting in the Social Europe Network of the Party of European Socialists (PES).

Convening for the first time this year, progressives in the Network took stock of the progress made on the Directive on improving working conditions in platform work – a key socialist proposal spearheaded by European Commissioner Nicolas Schmit – and vowed to continue mobilising ministers and MEPs in defence of an ambitious Directive.

The PES is committed to a Directive on platform work that makes it easier for workers to clarify their status – either as employees or self-employed – and secure their rights.

Agnes Jongerius MEP, Chair of the PES Social Europe Network, said:

“Better working conditions for platform workers is a priority for Socialists and Democrats. We are talking about 28 million people in the EU, they deserve a clear status either as a self-employed or an employee. There can be no in between if we want platform workers to know and access their rights. This is one of the key proposals we pushed for the platform work Directive, with Nicolas Schmit in the Commission and Elisabetta Gualmini in the European Parliament.

“It is crucial that on Thursday 2 February, the plenary of the European Parliament adopts a strong position, to give us a strong mandate to negotiate an ambitious directive with member states. For the sake of workers, we must not give into lobbying by the platforms, not a single vote must be missing for Elisabetta’s report. Online platforms cannot just circumvent social standards.”

The Directive saw several important developments at the end of 2022, when the EPSCO Council of 8 December blocked attempts by the Czech presidency to water down the Directive. Days later on 12 December, the European Parliament’s EMPL committee gave the greenlight to a report on the Directive by MEP Elisabetta Gualmini’s. The European Parliament plenary will vote on this report on 2 February 2023.

2023 begins at a fast pace in the employment and social affairs field. In the frame of the meeting, the Network also discussed zero long-term unemployment initiatives, the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, the opening European Year of Skills, and the upcoming Council recommendation on a framework for social economy.

Some of the member of the PES Social Europe Network attended the hybrid meeting via video conference.