The European Commission is using the start of this new political cycle in the European Union to assess the effectiveness of the current framework for economic and fiscal surveillance. To this end, an Economic Governance Review was launched in the form of a public consultation. In order to allow for a broad consultation and real public debate, the Commission has now launched a dedicated on-line platform on which interested parties are able to express their opinions on the matter. The survey will be accessible until 30 June 2020 at the following link. This is an opportunity for social policy experts to give a clear message to the European Commission about the need to strike a balance between fiscal discipline and social investments to ensure the European economic system works better for society.
COFACE Families Europe had the opportunity to discuss the wider economic governance of Europe together with Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovkis, as part of a Social Platform delegation. It was an opportunity to put forward some of the ideas which emerged from the 2018 seminar organised by COFACE together with key partners from the economic, social and finance world.
During the meeting with the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, COFACE highlighted the need for creative and sustainable solutions in a context of low economic growth coupled with unsustainable private debt levels. The intrinsic links between economic and social policy were also discussed, taking work-life balance as a case in point: investing in the work-life balance of families is both a social imperative and an economic imperative so they can both work/boost the economy while also having a healthy family life for future generations.
The Social Platform delegation brought different perspectives on building an EU economy with the wellbeing of people as its central aim, and how to engage in regular dialogue with organised civil society. “Creating an economy that works for people will require extensive changes to our current economic model, including through the planned review of EU economic governance: only by doing so will we create better living and working conditions and reduce inequalities, and set the foundations for a far-reaching and effective European Pillar of Social Rights.” The delegation highlighted the need for adequate investment in people as crucial to the success of the European Pillar of Social Rights, including through investment mechanisms such as the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan and the Just Transition Fund. The Social Platform, an alliance of 47 European NGOs, is looking forward to working with EVP Dombrovskis and his team to ensure that the EU’s economic agenda upholds the commitments of the Social Pillar and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to leave no one behind.