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PES welcomes European pillar of social rights, but highlights work still to do


27 Apr 2017


Global Europe
Social Europe & Jobs

The Party of the European Socialists welcomes the European Commission’s first steps towards a more social Europe -- but argued today that they should go further.

The Commission published yesterday its first proposals for the European pillar of social rights and the future of social policies in Europe. The PES was expecting the proposal to be more in depth and more ambitious.

According to PES president Sergei Stanishev, the Commission identifies the right challenges, but still misses the concrete measures to address them – with the exception of a very welcome proposal on parental leave.

But the Party welcomes the social package nonetheless, as it finally opens an official debate about a more social Europe.

Mr Stanishev said:

“The EU is at a defining moment. The proposal for a social pillar must go beyond nice words to offer real improvements to the daily lives of our citizens.

“Our aims for the pillar are crystal clear: to strengthen existing rights and guarantee decent jobs for all, to rebalance economic freedoms with strong social rights, and to extend social protection to all forms of employment, including those resulting from the digital revolution.”

The PES will scrutinise the development of the European Pillar of Social Rights to make sure that President Juncker delivers on his promise of a social triple A.

Socialist proposals and expectations on this subject were laid out in an open letter to the Commission president, signed by Sergei Stanishev together with ministers Nicolas Schmit and Pier Carlo Padoan, and MEPs Maria João Rodrigues and Pervenche Berès. Employment and social ministers also issued a declaration in March this year.

Mr Stanishev added:

“Citizens feel that they are losing control of their lives due to globalisation, the digital revolution and austerity measures. The pillar of social rights offers an opportunity to prove that the European Union provides them with an additional safety net and security.

“It is crucial to deliver on this promise. To do this, we will work closely with trade unions, workers’ organisations, PES Women and all progressive organisations which safeguard the rights of employees, women, children – everyone who needs social stability and protection.”

Progress towards a genuine social pillar will also be closely monitored by the PES’s new high-level working group on the future of Europe, chaired jointly by Mr Stanishev and Gianni Pittella MEP, leader of the S&D group in the European Parliament.


For more information, please contact Toby Wardman, +32 491 86 97 48