17 November 2017 Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth, Gothenburg
On 26 April 2017, the European Commission published the European Pillar of Social Rights. Today, the Pillar will be proclaimed at the EU Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth in Gothenburg. COFACE Families Europe welcomes this proclamation as an indication of the EU’s intention to strengthen the implementation of existing social rights across Member States.
The aim of the European Pillar of Social Rights is to serve as a guide towards efficient employment and social outcomes when responding to challenges and to better implement social rights. The Pillar includes 20 principles under three chapters: Equal Opportunities and access to the labour market; Fair working conditions and Social protection and inclusion. The most important question still remains, how to ensure in the coming years that the European Pillar of Social Rights will bring positive change to people’s life along the 20 principles and transform great principles into actions?
COFACE Families Europe wants to see both legislative and non-legislative measures under each of these principles, similarly to the recently proposed Directive on work-life balance for working parents and carers. Furthermore, we call on the European Institutions to ensure the successful realisation of the 20 principles through strong governance tools and adequate resources. We urge the EU institutions to allocate appropriate budgets in the European Social Fund (ESF), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), as well as the in the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EASI), under the current and future EU budget. Without allocating adequate funding, the European Pillar of Social Rights will hardly be able to live up to the expectations of European citizens.
We will actively contribute to the implementation of the following 7 Pillar principles:
- Education, training and life-long learning
“Everyone has the right to quality and inclusive education, training and life-long learning in order to maintain and acquire skills that enable them to participate fully in society and manage successfully transitions in the labour market.”
- Gender Equality
“Equality of treatment and opportunities between women and men must be ensured and fostered in all areas, including regarding participation in the labour market, terms and conditions of employment and career progression. Women and men have the right to equal pay for work of equal value.”
- Work-Life balance
“Parents and people with caring responsibilities have the right to suitable leave, flexible working arrangements and access to care services. Women and men shall have equal access to special leaves of absence in order to fulfil their caring responsibilities and be encouraged to use them in a balanced way.”
- Inclusion of People with Disabilities
“People with disabilities have the right to income support that ensures living in dignity, services that enable them to participate in the labour market and in society, and a work environment adapted to their needs.”
- Long-term care
“Everyone has the right to affordable long-term care services of good quality, in particular home-care and community-based services.”
- Childcare and support to children
“Children have the right to affordable early childhood education and care of good quality. Children have the right to protection from poverty. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds have the right to specific measures to enhance equal opportunities.”
- Access to essential services
“Everyone has the right to access essential services of good quality, including water, sanitation, energy, transport, financial services and digital communications. Support for access to such services shall be available for those in need.”
COFACE Families Europe recently launched the #IwantWorkLifeBalance campaign to shore up citizen support for the Directive, as a first step towards the implementation of the Pillar principle 9 on Work-Life balance.
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