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S&Ds: EU funds will only be available if social rights at the workplace are respected


08 Dec 2023


Global Europe

Last night, the Socialists and Democrats reached a major victory for workers by securing that payments from the EU budget will only be available if the activities they finance respect social rights, a minimum wage, safety at work, occupational safety, health and work-life balance, and the organisation of working time for employees. This principle, called social conditionality, pushed for by the S&D Group is now included in the EU Financial Regulation, agreed between the political groups in the European Parliament, the member states and the European Commission. 

Nils Ušakovs, S&D MEP and EP negotiator on the issue in the EP’s committee on budgets, said:

“This is a huge achievement for the Socialists and Democrats to the benefit of workers. Anybody who applies for funding from any EU programme will have to respect the right to decent working conditions together with the Charter of Fundamental Rights. If a business does not respect the social rights of its workers, it will receive no funding from Europe - as simple as that. We cannot finance a grey economy, shameful practices and the abuse of employees with European taxpayers’ money!”

Isabel García Muñoz, MEP and S&D negotiator on the issue in the EP’s committee on budgetary control, said:

“We are proud of the result achieved as it will apply not just to some EU programmesbut as a general principle to all European funds. We expect the European Commission to be extremely vigilant and responsible for how the EU budget is spent, and that the European Parliament will exercise its role of budgetary control. The credibility of the EU depends on this respect for a minimum set of labour conditions in the eyes of tens of millions of working people throughout our Union. We cannot fail them and the S&D Group insists that the next step is for the necessary budgetary control to be in place in the interest of all Europeans.”