02 Oct 2013

EMU: Binding Social Indicators Necessary to Promote Active Inclusion

Yesterday (2 October), the European Commission launched the long-awaited Communication on the Social Dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). SOLIDAR acknowledges this initiative as a step towards finally recognising the social dimension as a crucial aspect of the Economic and Monetary Union, even though the proposed social indicators are not binding.

Although signs of a fragile economic recovery are starting to appear, economic growth is unlikely to be sustainable unless it is inclusive and job rich, especially while labour market and social conditions remain extremely challenging and divergent within the EMU - as highlighted in the EU Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review also issued yesterday. Strengthening active inclusion and social cohesion by raising social standards in all Member States should be an EU priority, in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy.

As part of the Communication, the Commission has proposed to create a scoreboard to follow key employment and social developments in order to monitor and prevent major social problems. The scoreboard indicators put forward are: household income, inequality, poverty, unemployment and youth unemployment. However if these indicators are only used as an analytical tool and not made into binding obligations for Member States, SOLIDAR is concerned that no real progress will be made towards the social objectives set out in the Europe 2020 Strategy.

For SOLIDAR, to improve social cohesion, prevent increasing disparities and long-term exclusion, progress should be made in the employment and social sector along the following fronts:

  • Fighting unemployment (and in particular youth unemployment) through the promotion of inclusive and quality employment as well as fair mobility.
  • Improving access to healthcare and social services for all.
  • Promoting access and participation in lifelong learning.
  • Promoting the social economy.
  • Strengthening active citizenship and volunteering for social cohesion.

To this aim, SOLIDAR is launching a process with members and partners to evaluate Member States’ commitments in contributing to promote active inclusion, reduce poverty and inequality, and fight unemployment.

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