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Progressive ministers for European affairs demand a specific Action Plan on the implementation of Social Europe


20 Jun 2017


Global Europe
Social Europe & Jobs

European affairs ministers from the Party of European Socialists discussed the lack of any reference to social policy at the upcoming European Council during their meeting in Luxembourg on 20 June. Ministers agreed that a clear schedule for implementing the elements of the EU social pillar is crucial.

Ministers also continued their exchange on the respect of human rights and the rule of law, which are increasingly becoming a matter of concern in Europe. They welcomed willingness to continue this discussion during the Estonian Presidency.

German minister for Europe and chair of the network Michael Roth stated:

"The lack of discussions on creating European social rights is a matter of great concern. Rebalancing social rights and economic freedoms is essential for the good functioning of the single market and Europe as a whole. Protecting workers, especially now, and especially those involved in the digital economy must be our top political priority.

"Reflection papers are not enough. What Europe needs is a concrete Action Plan with clear and understandable proposals, such as strengthening the youth guarantee, introducing a child guarantee and legislation ensuring all workers have decent pay, working conditions, and adequate social protection. It is time to make Europe more social."

The meeting was also attended by

  • Sandro Gozi, State Secretary for European Affairs of Italy
  • Helena Dalli, Minister for European Affairs and Equality of Malta
  • Margarida Marques, State Secretary for European Affairs of Portugal
  • Ivan Korčok, State Secretary for Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia
  • Ann Linde, Minister of EU Affairs and Trade of Sweden
  • Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission
  • Maria João Rodrigues, Vice-President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament
  • Frazer Clarke, S&D Deputy Secretary General in the European Parliament
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General of the PES

Giorgos Katrougalos, Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece (observer)


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