On 11 September, the European Economic and Social Committee held a public hearing on the ‘Impact of the social dimension and the European Pillar of Social Rights on the Future of the European Union’. The EESC is working on an opinion on the draft interinstitutional proclamation endorsing the European Pillar of Social Rights and the link between the Pillar and the reflection paper on the social dimension of Europe by 2025. The hearing brought together officials from the EESC, representatives of trade unions, employer organisations, Member States and researchers as well as a wide range of civil society organisations in the audience.
Gabriele Bischoff and Jukka Ahtela, Rapporteur and Co-Rapporteur, highlighted the need of a social dimension for the future of Europe in their introductory comments. A first panel discussion followed trying to connect the social dimension with the Future of Europe Reflection Papers and the European Pillar of Social Rights. Participants in the panel expressed different positions on what priority the social dimension and the Pillar of Social Rights should have in the future of Europe. However, all stated the need for a clarification on if and how the pillar will be implemented.
The second panel discussion focused on the policy areas and actors. While trade unions and civil society organisations pledged for a quick implementation of the Pillar, employer organisations criticised the proposal and presented existing good practices in Member States. Representatives of the current and upcoming Council presidencies, Estonia and Bulgaria expressed their commitment to the further development of the Pillar. Moreover, COFACE Families Europe welcomed the statement of the Estonian representative to further encourage deinstitutionalisation and independent living for children and elderly or disabled persons.
More information about this event here