Commissioner Marianne Thyssen on the future of the protection of social rights in Europe

Speaking at the Council of Europe conference on the future of the protection of social rights in Europe, Commissioner Thyssen said: “The Treaty on the European Union sets out that the Union shall work for ‘a highly competitive social market economy’. I am convinced that it is the best possible model to combine competitiveness and prosperity with a strong social protection and a high level of well-being. For me – and I can assure you for the entire Juncker Commission – strengthening the social market economy means: growth, jobs, skills and social protection. The crisis has disproportionally affected the weakest in our society: the low skilled, people with a migration background, women, ethnic minorities, disabled…. We must address the root cause of the problem. For me this means: creating sustainable growth and jobs, equipping people with the skills they need, promoting inclusive labour markets and high standards of social protection. These will not only benefit the people most directly concerned but also contribute in my view to cohesive, open and democratic societies. The Juncker Commission is determined to tie the social into the economic side of our social market economy to balance economic freedoms and social rights fairly. Economic growth can only be sustainable if it is truly inclusive.”