SOLIDAR presented its 2019 Social Rights Monitor at the European Parliament this week. The Monitor is intended to be a tool for increasing the involvement of Civil Society Organisations in the European Semester and creating a more central role for social targets. Speaking at the presentation, the Commissioner-designate for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, stressed that the involvement of CSOs is crucial as they are able to convey people’s day-to-day realities to politicians. He emphasised also the pressing need to think in terms of a “Social Market Economy".
The monitor shows that although European economies are recovering from the impact of the crisis, social reality paints a different picture. While employment rates are growing, they are accompanied by pressing social issues, notably rising levels of in-work-poverty, increasing social and regional inequalities, precarious work, and poor quality jobs. In this regard, Green MEP Katrin Langesiepen insisted that the European Semester should not only encompass quantitative, but also qualitative parameters.
S&D MEP Agnes Jongerius expressed her concerns that national governments too often consider social Country Specific Recommendations as optional. For the successful implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, it is of utmost importance that the policy recommendations of the European Commission to the Member States are in line with achieving these social and sustainable goals. It is therefore worrisome that despite the introduction of the Social Scoreboard, the Country Specific Recommendations continue to centre on macroeconomic indicators and fail to put Europe’s social objectives at their core.
SOLIDAR’s Social Rights Monitor provides an insight into the state of social rights in 16 European countries in terms of equality of opportunities, fair working conditions, social protection, inclusion and civic space. It is based on the observations of Civil Society Organisations working on the ground in combination with statistical data and scientific findings. You can find the full version of the Monitor as well as the Monitors for each country in our Publications section.