Swift transposition of the EU Work-Life balance Directive is key to foster a more gender-equal economy of wellbeing! Brussels, 6th December 2019 The meeting of the EPSCO Council on 9-10th December in Brussels is an important opportunity to pave the…
After a public consultation launched in March 2016, the three European Institutions adopted the European Pillar of Social Rights in November 2017 – a kind of compass to guide future EU social and economic policy actions.
The Pillar of Social Rights is about delivering new and more effective rights for citizens. It consists of 20 key principles, structured around three categories:
- Equal opportunities and access to the labour market
- Fair working conditions
- Social protection and inclusion
It builds on progress made through European legislation, through benchmarking between countries under the EU social open method of coordination, through country-specific reforms under the European economic growth strategy (referred to as the European Semester), the policy guidelines of the EU Social Investment Package adopted in 2013, and the feedback obtained during the 2016 public consultation on existing social and employment needs.
Objectives and tools
The aim of the European Commission (namely of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker) with the proposal for a European Pillar of Social Rights was not only to deliver more rights for citizens, but also to agree with the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers on an EU framework to monitor social and employment performance of EU countries, and push for more convergence in the Eurozone in order to tackle different challenges:
- the far-reaching consequences of the crisis (poverty, unemployment)
- a changing world of work (digitalisation)
- accentuating demographic trends (ageing society)
- very different performances within the euro area
The implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights is driven through a mix of funding, policy, benchmarking, social innovation, and legislation, in close cooperation with social partners and civil society.
In March-May 2016 we launched a consultation with our membership, which resulted in a Discussion Paper in September 2016 for our Brussels-based Reflection seminar with key European policy-makers and stakeholders to discuss how the Pillar can be useful to tackle challenges at local level and how it links to other on-going legislative and policy initiatives. In December 2016, COFACE then published its recommendations on how to make it work at local level. After formal publication of the Pillar in April 2017, together with the package on work-life balance, we have produced different assessments, made presentations across Europe, and continue to advocate for meaningful implementation through legislative and non-legislative measures.
- The Pillar should address both emergency needs and build sound welfare systems to prevent poverty and exclusion, and hence ensure better monetary and economic stability in the future.
- The Pillar must ensure the needs of all EU citizens are sufficiently covered and social rights are provided on an equal basis with others. Protect the social rights of refugees and undocumented immigrants as well.
- The actions of the Pillar should be based on core values of non-discrimination, gender equality, solidarity, empowerment, human rights
- Life-course perspective should be the starting point for actions, addressing all generations from birth to old age.
The 7 principles where COFACE Families Europe has most expertise, knowledge and well-developed positions are the following:
1. Education, training and life-long learning
2. Gender equality
3. Work-life balance
4. Inclusion of persons with disabilities
5. Long-term care
6. Childcare and support to children
7. Access to essential services
Following the successful #Iwantworklifebalance campaign in support of the EU worklife balance directive (between 2017-2019), the EU adopted minimum standards on adequately paternity leave, parental leave, carers leave and flexible work arrangements.
In September 2019, to welcome the new European Parliament, we launched our New Deal for Families of Today, which is our key contribution to drive the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights through concrete objectives to be reached by 2024. This New Deal reflects the clear needs and challenges of families of today. We are ready to work in partnership with the European Institutions to drive implementation of social rights for families of today.
COFACE Families Europe welcomes the Proclamation of the Pillar November 2017
COFACE Families Europe Preliminary Assessment of the Pillar May 2017
COFACE Families Europe Pillar Recommendations December 2016
COFACE Families Europe Pillar Discussion Paper September 2016
Social Media cards
COFACE Families Europe statement from the conference on shaping a healthy environment fit for children Helsinki, 4th October 2019, MEDIA RELEASE Families want a healthy environment for their children to thrive and develop their own wings. However, they face a…
Homelessness and housing exclusion are extreme forms of social exclusion that need to be addressed through integrated approaches that successfully deliver on Principle 19 of the European Pillar of Social Rights. Some integrated strategies in some countries have emerged, however,…
On 3-4th October in Helsinki under the Finnish Presidency of the EU, COFACE Families Europe and Vaestoliitto (the Family Federation of Finland) will host a gathering of family professionals on the topic of shaping a healthy environment fit for children,…
Brussels, 11th September 2019, MEDIA RELEASE COFACE Families Europe responds with proposal for a New EU Deal for Families of Today to support implementation of new Commission mandate. On 10th September, President-elect Ursula von der Leyen presented her team and…
The challenges Europe is facing today are unprecedented. A rise in nationalism, driven by a loss of citizens' faith in the European project, is threatening to overturn democratic values and undermine social and political stability. At the same time, the…
154 NGOs signed an open letter with the title “Our sustainable future must start now” clarifying their stance for the strategic agenda 2019-2024. The letter was sent to the Heads of States of Europe before the June Council, which is…
In June, the European Commission issued its 2019 country-specific recommendations (CSRs), setting out its economic & social policy guidance for Member States for the next 12 to 18 months. The recommendations encourage the 28 EU countries to respond adequately to…
The Annual Convention for Inclusive Growth (ACIG) is an action-oriented platform bringing together civil society organisations and policymakers to discuss how to achieve truly inclusive growth. Its fourth edition took place in Brussels on 20 May 2019, with different COFACE…
The European Parliament adopted the Work-Life Balance Directive in its Plenary Session last 4th April with a landslide majority of 490 in favour, 82 against and 48 abstentions. In her address to the Parliament, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills…
On the International women’s day on 8 March, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the current situation of gender equality in the EU and the priorities for future. The consultation will be open till the end of May,…
The European Commission has published a “Winter Package” of documents as part of the European Semester, the annual cycle of economic policy coordination at EU level, in place since 2011 and part of the European Union's economic governance framework. The…