November went by very fast, bringing along a number of first steps for Work-Life Balance in Europe.
- On 8 November, the SOC Section of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) voted on the draft opinion on the Work-Life Balance Directive that was approved with an overwhelming majority (82 in favour, 6 against, 9 abstained). The draft opinion, that supports the EU Commission proposal for a Directive, will go to a vote in the EESC Plenary on 6 December. The November vote was a first step towards a full support of the EESC for a Directive that will greatly support families across the EU. COFACE contributed to the text, with the appointment of Paola Panzeri, COFACE Senior Policy and Advocacy officer, as expert for the opinion and we call on the EESC Members to confirm the decision taken in the SOC Section by voting in favour of this opinion.
- On 17 November, the EU proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights, whose first concrete deliverable is the Work-Life Balance Directive. Now that the framework is official, it is time for its implementation. Read more about the proclamation here
- On the same day, the Council Working Party dealing with the WLB Directive had its last meeting under the Estonian Presidency. The state-of-play of this intense semester will be presented at the EPSCO Council on 7 December, and we call on Member States to keep advancing to find a balanced position in the upcoming months, without watering down or lowering standards proposed by the EU Commission.
- The file has been moving also in the European Parliament, where discussions will start early next year. On 23 November, COFACE Families Europe President Annemie Drieskens met with MEP Ernest Urtasun and MEP Tatjana Zdanoka, respectively FEMM and EMPL coordinators and shadow rapporteurs for the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament.
- The Committee of the Regions published the report with the results of the Territorial Impact Assessment of the Work-Life Balance Directive, held in Brussels in October 2017 in an ad-hoc workshop. COFACE and three of its Members from France, Austria and Croatia participated in the workshop. The report concludes that: “In general, the experts agreed that this directive would have a positive effect on Europe with a cohesive effect on the EU’s regions”.
Finally, with a number of partners of the civil society we hold regular monthly meetings to update one another and strategise. If you belong to a EU–wide civil society network and want to be more involved, or receive regular policy updates on this topic, contact Paola Panzeri at firstname.lastname@example.org
We invite everyone to join the our Social Media campaign. Feel free to tweet, retweet or share our messages and your own messages using the #IwantWorkLifeBalance hashtag. Follow this link to have more information and communication material. For any request on the communication campaign please contact Ana Pérez at email@example.com