Advancing the European Union’s Social Dimension

For the advancement of the social dimension of Europe

 

On 17 November 2017 leaders of the EU institutions and all the Member States proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights at the Social Summit for fair jobs and growth in Gothenburg. The Pillar represents a first step towards a stronger European social dimension that centres around decent living and working conditions of persons residing in the EU in a rapidly changing world. Nevertheless, the legislative competences in the social and employment fields remain largely in the hands of Member States. A European legal framework able to ensure decent working and living conditions and adequate social protection to all is urgently needed to adapt the rules to new forms of employment and the workplaces of the future as well as to lay the foundations of a federal welfare system

 

Resolution submitted by: Political Commission 2

Adopted in Skopje, March 25th, 2018

 

JEF Europe,

?          Recognising the need to build a common social policy able to lead to a common economic plan for sustainable development and social welfare in Europe;


?          Recognising that a common European social policy needs to be financed through a larger federal European budget raised through own resources rather than national contributions ;

?          Alarmed by the persistence of horizontal and vertical inequalities - aggravated by the economic crisis - among European citizens and countries;

?          Deeply concerned about growing and persisting income inequalities, along with employment gaps between men and women  and difficulties for more vulnerable groups, such as older workers, migrants and people with disabilities;

?          Noting with concern the levels of absolute and relative poverty, which affects one tenth and one fourth of Europeans respectively ;

?          Emphasising the difficulties that young people face in entering the labour market and in benefiting from forms of social protection ;

?          Taking into consideration the growing flexibility of employment in the EU labour market, which fosters job creation but has also made employment more precarious, and has spread "non-standard" forms of employment which have contributed to the erosion of forms of workers’ protection normally guaranteed with traditional forms of labour;

?          Hopeful about the reinforced attention to the social dimension shown by the joint proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights;

?          Concerned by the persisting institutional barriers which leave the process of legislative convergence on social issues as an exclusive competence of Member States, with no regulatory powers on the States that are not fulfilling their responsibilities regarding the 2020 Agenda as it is not binding;

?          Noting further an evident disparity between economic governance, where sanctions are clearly provided, and social governance where there is no binding legislation;

?          Observing with concern the restricted conditions of an international right to strike;

?          Further concerned about widespread euroscepticism, among young and adult citizens, as shown by the Euro-barometer survey  and the success of far right and nationalist parties;

?          Recognising the need of equitably distributed prosperity, with appropriate measures of employment protection and welfare, as a fundamental condition to relaunch the European project with the support of European citizens;

?          Welcomes the establishment of the European labour authority as a fully-fledged agency supporting labour mobility in the EU;



therefore,

A.         in the short term

?          Asks for a binding European framework of social rights as a first step towards a European welfare state:


1.          as an essential element of an integrated European labour market, given that integrated economies and increased labour mobility also call for coordinated forms of social protection;

2.         with further investment in human development through strengthening the budgetary capacity of the existing social funds such as the European Social Fund, European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), and the youth employment initiative;

3.         with the establishment of an adequate minimum income - based on the art. 34 par. 3 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and on the Joint Declaration of November 2018;

4.         with aid for people in need of monetary benefits, voluntary training services and social inclusion programmes to support the transition period from unemployment to employment refusing coercive forms of work;

5.         that guarantees the presence of insurance against unemployment and social shock absorbers, equal working conditions, adequate balance between rights and duties of workers and employers and between flexibility and social security;

6.         with minimum requirements for occupational safety and health, as well as a basic level of medical care at their workplace;

7.         able to formulate appropriate policies against absolute poverty, relative poverty and in-work poverty;

8.         that guides and gathers investments in overcoming youth unemployment more effectively and aspires to a European unemployment scheme;

9.         that guarantees compensation to young people starting their careers through internship and traineeships, thus favouring social mobility and improved career possibilities for the lower-income population;

10.        to create a European status for interns and trainees guaranteeing a minimum standard of rights concerning working conditions;

11.         to ensure harmonisation of working standards throughout the Union, according to the principle of “same pay for the same work at the same place”;

12.        to set wage standards that enable workers to live in decent living conditions with sufficient health care;

13.        to set a minimum age for physically demanding jobs and to ensure special protection for young workers

14.        that requires employers to ensure the health and medical fitness of workers at their workplaces


?          Demands the European Commission and the Member States to recognise the limits of the current system based on peer review and exchange of best practices and to set binding laws and sanctions for the States that are not fulfilling their responsibilities in terms of social protection;

?          Urges Member States to engage in enhanced cooperation on social issues or social compacts, following the example of the Schengen agreements, in order to achieve better integration among those countries with similar social standards and avoid the risk of social dumping;



B.         on a longer term

?          Demands the foundation of a European social pillar as a defined structure of a federal union with proper resources, democratic instruments, and concrete tools for its implementation;

?          Calls for a European welfare state financed with an enlarged European budget independent from Member State contributions, funded by substantial own financial resources based on an EU-wide system of taxation;

?          Requests further European regulations targeting multinationals and cross-border businesses, together with sanctions against those who do not maintain a sufficient level of protection for workers;

?          Endorses the development of Europe-wide trade unions in order to become a true bargaining power and to establish adequate instruments for the protection of workers in an ever more globalised world where the transnational dimension of business is on the rise.

?          Requests the European Labour Authority to ensure correct application of European labour law and to fight against fraud and abuse by applying sanctions on member states in case of a failure to comply with their obligations;


You can download the resolution "Advancing the European Union’s Social Dimension