Statement on EU Commission’s plan: We cannot wait another year for a strong Social Europe!

Yesterday, the European Commission presented its roadmap for the development of an action plan for the European Pillar of Social Rights. SOLIDAR is pleased to see that our political leaders at the highest level are showing commitment to achieving the goals of the 2030 agenda and the synergies between social, economic and environmental policies.

The central role for the European Pillar of Social Rights in the green, digital and demographic transitions that are facing the EU is a promising start. We applaud the broad consultation that has been launched for all stakeholders, including Civil Society Organisations, on the action plan for implementing the Social Pillar. CSOs play an important role in the implementation of the principles of the Pillar, for instance by their work on education, social services and social inclusion. Engaging them in every step of the decision making process will ensure that all citizens’ needs are considered, and no one is left behind in these fundamental transitions.

However, SOLIDAR is concerned that the long consultation period – that lasts until November 2020 – will slow down the momentum for a strong social Europe. As the Commission states, the Social Pillar is our answer to a range of very pressing issues, so it needs to be implemented without further delay. We cannot afford to lose time and postpone its implementation any longer, we need action now! SOLIDAR calls for a shorter consultation period that allows for the presentation of an action plan for the Social Pillar before the end of the year.

Finally, whereas we respect that wage setting is primarily the responsibility of the social partners, the Commission should also involve wider civil society in its consultations on possible actions for a fair minimum wage.