Social Pillar, high-level social safeguards for everyone?

On 8 March 2016, the European Commission presented its communication for a public consultation on the European Pillar of Social Rights which is accompanied by an outline of the Pillar as well as two staff working documents: one on key economic, labour market and societal trends and one on the EU social acquis. The process of building the Pillar is part of the ongoing “Deepening the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)” and foresees a final proposal for the Pillar early in 2017.

The European Pillar of Social Rights is targeted at the Eurozone but non-Euro countries are able (and supposed) to join the Pillar. Overarching aim of the Pillar is to re-establish upward social convergence among members of the Eurozone as disparities keep increasing.

The Pillar - Establishing new social rights?
Unlike its name suggests, the Pillar will not establish new rights for European citizens or legally residing third-country-nationals but rather describe principles. It refers to rights established in the EU Treaty and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights, lacking a mentioning of other sources of rights such as ILO or UN conventions.

SOLIDAR together with its members is currently preparing its contribution to the public consultation to express our demands for the establishment of high-level social safeguards for everyone living in the EU – including arriving people from outside the EU.
For more information see our briefing on Social safeguards in Europe – Redefining our narrative.

Together with the German Trade Union Federation (DGB), the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB), Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour (AK EUROPA) and Diakonie Deutschland, SOLIDAR is organising a high-level debate on the outlines of the Social Pillar on 26 May 2016 in Brussels. Questions to be discussed are: How can we improve in this situation social rights and social protection in the EU? How can upwards social convergence within and between member states be reached? Under which conditions may the announced European pillar of social rights achieve substantial social progress?

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