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It is time for an ambitions EU Social Action Plan, the Party of European Socialists stresses in letter to EU presidents


24 Feb 2021


Social Europe & Jobs

It is time for the European Union to become a truly social Union that brings shared prosperity, social progress and wellbeing for all, PES President Sergei Stanishev has written in a letter to the presidents of the Commission, Council, Parliament and Presidency of the Council of the EU.

President Stanishev wrote to them to highlight a declaration adopted earlier this week by ministers from Portugal, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta and Sweden.

The PES declaration - PES Employment and Social Affairs Ministers: An Ambitious Social Action Plan – sets out the progressive vision for social rights in Europe.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Charles Michel, President of the European Council

Antonio Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal, Presidency of the Council of the EU

David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament

PES Ministers call for an ambitious Social Action Plan to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Brussels, 23 February 2021

Dear Presidents,

On 16 November 2017, the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council jointly proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights, in Göteborg, Sweden, marking a new step in the construction of a Social Europe. The Pillar and the 20 principles it enshrines then became the EU’s guide “towards fulfilling people’s essential needs, and towards ensuring better enactment and implementation of social rights”, as stated in its preamble.

Our political family has from the beginning of this process called for a strong and ambitious Social Action Plan to be associated with the European Pillar of Social rights in order to turn its 20 principles into tangible reality for all, across the EU.

The European Commission is about to take the next step on this path with the publication of its proposal for a Social Action Plan on 3 March this year. Expectations for a strong social Europe and a social and fair recovery are high, in particular in the light of the Covid-19 crisis.

After the European Parliament report on social Europe for just transitions adopted in December last year(2020/2084(INI)), PES Ministers of Employment and Social Affairs have already contributed with their proposals for this Action Plan. You will find them detailed in the declaration on an ambitious Social Action Plan, adopted by PES Ministers from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta and Sweden under the chairing of Portuguese Minister Ana Mendes Godinho.

We call on the Commission, the Council and the Parliament to match these with an equally ambitious Social Action Plan, starting with the Commission’s proposal on 3rd of March. The Porto Social Summit organised by the Portuguese Presidency on 7-8 May this year will be crucial in this endeavour. The opening debate on the future of Europe must reflect this ambition too.

Europe is more than a mere market. It is time for the EU to turn into truly social Union that plays again its role and brings shared prosperity, social progress and wellbeing to its 500 million citizens.

Yours sincerely,

Sergei Stanishev

PES President


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