The financial crisis has left profound marks in the social situation in Europe, so did austerity measures and labour market reforms (offshoring, pay freeze, reduction in wages). The digital revolution too triggers big upheavals. We are in a changing world. In this context, social gains are endangered, they have to be protected and adapted to the new realities in the world of work. Besides, inequalities slow down the economic development.
That’s why the European Commission wants to establish a common set of social principles. The idea is to anticipate the disruption to come such as to be ready for it, as well as reestablishing a “social Triple A” for Europe. This pillar will be used as a framework to assess the evolution of employment and of the social situation.
What does “the European Pillar of Social Rights” mean?
The European Pillar of Social Rights will be a reference document of a legal nature which will define values and principles shared at a European level. This foundation is made for the Euro zone but it can be extended to other member states if they ask for it.
This document is based on the social rights from the European laws but it goes further, it completes them to be compatible with the current changes and take the new stakes into account.
On 8 March this year, a first draft was elaborated. This document deals with diverse topics such as gender equality at work, access to education or social dialogue. It also takes into account the evolutions of society and establishes new rights. For example, the digital economy leads to some forms of precariousness like self-employment and this document intends to provide a framework to it.
Why organizing a consultation?
How to have a complete insight of the new stakes? How to determine which rights to focus on? A public consultation is open to answer these questions. It will enable to refine the draft. So citizens are invited to give their opinion. This consultation will be in the form of a survey. The questions are about:
- an assessment of today’s social acquis
- the new trends of the work world
- people’s opinion on the first draft
The results of this consultation will be taken into account to elaborate a final version of this document which must be presented at the beginning of 2017. Through this frame of reference, the law may be reviewed or completed.
Ipse wants to have its voice heard on these important questions. It will do it in collaboration with its members and partners. On October 21st, the members taking part to the Europe Commission and the partners attending the Orientation Council will gather in order to finalise this contribution, the results will be transmitted to all members. This consultation is open until December 31.