PES welcomes European Parliament report on social Europe

17/12/2020

Agnes Jongerius at a PES Social Europe Network meeting

File photo: Agnes Jongerius (centre) at a PES SEN meeting

A strong social Europe for Just Transitions – a report adopted today by the European Parliament – is an important milestone on the road to a truly social Europe, the Party of European Socialists said today as it welcomed the measures it contains.

The PES commends co-rapporteur, and Chair of the PES Social Europe Network (SEN), Agnes Jongerius MEP for her work to ensure progressive measures are central in the report, which is the European Parliament’s contribution to the European Commission’s Social Action Plan.

The Social Action Plan, overseen by progressive Commissioner Nicolas Schmit, will be put forward at the beginning of next year and will pave the way for the Portuguese Presidency’s Social Summit in Porto in May 2021.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“The adoption of the European Pillar of Social Rights marked an important step: it put social justice back on the EU agenda. The endorsement of the 20 Pillar principles in 2017 was a great achievement, but ever since then socialists and democrats have been pushing to translate them in concrete actions.

“The Social Action Plan being put forward by Nicolas Schmit will do just that, mapping out the way to a truly social Europe. I commend Agnes Jongerius, who took the lead on this from the European Parliament side, for her efforts which have delivered such a strong report. Together, across the institutions, progressives are building a Europe based on decent work, fair wages, equality, mobility and strong social protections for all. EU citizens have been promised social rights and it is time to put them in practice.”

A strong social Europe for Just Transitions sets out the European Parliament’s expectations as the Commission prepares the Social Action Plan. The report stresses that social justice, decent work with living wages, equal opportunities, fair mobility and robust social welfare systems are essential elements in the just transition to a sustainable and social Europe. It presents concrete and ambitious targets and goals on decent work and sustainable and inclusive labour markets; social justice and equal opportunities; robust social welfare systems; and fair mobility.

The PES welcomes the inclusion in the report of calls for action on a number of social issues which are key priorities for socialists and democrats, such as stronger wages, decent minimum wages, ending insecure zero-hours contracts, creating strong social protection systems, turning digital progress into social progress for platform workers, bringing young people into employment with a reinforced Youth Guarantee, ending child poverty and closing the gender pay gap. Socialist and democrats will keep up the pressure for a progressive and wide-ranging Social Action Plan.