European Commission launches consultation package on a European Pillar of Social Rights

Créer un environnement favorable aux entrepreneurs: Réduire les coûts liés à la conduite des affaires et simplifier les formalités administratives08/03/2016 – the European Commission launched a public consultation on a European Pillar of Social Rights. EAPN welcomes an initiative that is rooted in a rights-based perspective. From the perspective of the EMIN Network, we welcome that the Communication from the Commission’s notes that Minimum income schemes do not exist in all Member States, as well as current challenges, such as inadequacy of benefit levels making it impossible for beneficiaries to escape poverty, low coverage, and non-take-up. It also points out difficulties with transitioning from unemployment benefits to minimum income. The commitment that “Adequate minimum income benefits shall be ensured for those who lack sufficient resources for a decent standard of living” will be important for the future work of EMIN.

The initiative on a pillar of social rights was announced by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in September 2015, and it is part of a greater initiative to strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), and, implicitly, its social dimension, by ensuring upward social convergence between Member States. The public consultation will run till the end of 2016, and a White Paper, building on the results of the consultation, is expected in early 2017. While targeted at the Eurozone, all Member States are welcome to join the initiative.

The main aims of the consultation are:

  • to assess the EU social aquis – to what extent are existing rights implemented.
  • to reflect on new trends in work patterns and societies – in light of demographic trends, new technologies, and taking on board social innovation.
  • to gather views and feedback on the outline of the Social Pillar itself – its scope, content, role as part of the social dimension of the EMU.

Useful links:

Overall webpage of the initiative:

http://ec.europa.eu/priorities/deeper-and-fairer-economic-and-monetary-union/european-pillar-social-rights

Communication on Launching the Consultation on the European Pillar of Social Rights:

Communication: Launching a consultation on a European Pillar of Social Rights

Annexes:

Annex: A European Pillar of Social Rights – First preliminary outline 

Staff Working Document: Key economic, employment and social trends behind a European Pillar of Social Rights

Staff Working Document: The EU social acquis

Link to the public consultation, including the questionnaire:

http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=699&consultId=22&visib=0&furtherConsult=yes

More Information:

– Press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-544_en.htm

– Questions & Answers: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-16-545_en.htm

– Factsheet: Factsheet – European Pillar of Social Rights

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