PES employment ministers: Commission must deliver a more social Europe
Meeting in Malta immediately before the Informal EPSCO Council, PES employment and social ministers reiterated their demand for the Commission to propose a strong and ambitious European Pillar of Social Rights in April.
At a time when so many European citizens have doubts about the European project and its realizations, building a strong and effective pillar of social rights is an absolute necessity. The pillar of social rights is essential to ensure that the Union better protects its citizens from unemployment, poverty and social exclusion and remains a guarantee of a better future.
Ministers’ expectations for the pillar of social rights are clear:
- It must guarantee decent jobs with common rules on working conditions and decent minimum wages, including in new forms of employment.
- It should provide strong support to all young people looking for a job, to accompany them to employment, in particular ensuring the sustainability of Youth Employment Initiative and the Youth Guarantee.
- The pillar must reaffirm the fundamental principle of equality between women and men, and defend the principles of non-discrimination and equality at work, including equal working conditions and remuneration for all workers.
- It needs to provide a social safety net to all Europeans to better protect them against the hazards of their working life and of unemployment.
- A reinforced social dialogue, with a key role in designing economic and social policies and the promotion of efficient and wide-coverage collective bargaining are essential in this endeavour.
Luxembourg Minister Nicolas Schmit, chair of the PES ministerial network, said:
“With the pillar of social rights we will continue promoting an ambitious and protective European social model that strengthens cohesion throughout the EU. We reaffirm that economic freedoms cannot prevail over social rights. This is why we want to renew Europe’s original promise: a future of prosperity, equality and fairness for all its citizens, a Europe without austerity and unemployment.
“For us, the future of Europe must be a more social Europe.”
List of participants:
Nicolas Schmit - Minister for Labour, Employment, Social and Solidarity Economy, Chairperson, Luxembourg
Alois Stöger - Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection, Austria
Thorben Albrecht - State Secretary in the employment and social affairs ministry, Germany
Helena Dalli - Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties, Malta
Michael Farrugia - Minister for Family and Social Security, Malta
Ana Sofia Antunes - Secretary of State for Inclusion of People with Disabilities, Portugal
Peter Pogačar - State Secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Slovenia
Ylva Johansson - Minister for Employment, Sweden
Theano Fotiou - Alternate Minister of Labour, Greece (observer)
Luca Visentini - ETUC Secretary General
Katja Lehto –Komulainen - ETUC Deputy Secretary General