EESC calls for benchmarks and a common reference framework for income support

The European Economic and Social Committee has recently adopted an opinion on the impact of the reflection paper on the social dimension of the EU and of European Pillar of Social Rights on the future of Europe[1].

The EESC is convinced that delivering on balanced economic growth and social progress should be the guiding principle for the debate on the social dimension of Europe. The Committee wants to see a  clear road map for the implementation of European Pillar of Social Rights with clear assignment of tasks coupled with accountability. Social policy also has to be embedded in a different EU economic policy.

The EESC identified the main areas where it believes action at EU and/or national level is necessary. These include quality jobs, fair working conditions, social protection, social services and minimum income. If the political commitment in the Member States has not led to concrete initiatives implementing the pillar, appropriate measures at EU level, including legal and non-legal initiatives, should be considered. The EESC repeats its demand for a framework directive for a minimum income.

The EESC takes the view that an approach of “deepening the social dimension where possible and focusing more on outcomes” would also support a major driver for more convergence. It therefore supports more binding measures based in the European Semester– with benchmarks, at least for the Eurozone but preferably for the EU-27, related to employment, education, and welfare (for example with a common reference framework for income support for those in need).

[1]SOC/564 – Impact of the social dimension & the European Pillar of Social Rights on the Future of EU, adopted on 19 October 2017

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