Towards a European Pillar of Social Rights –Conference brings together governments, civil society and social partners

Following Commissioner Thyssen’s statement in the European Parliament plenary debate today on the European Pillar of Social Rights, a further step towards a European Pillar of Social Rights will be taken on Monday 23 January, when more than 500 participants from Member State authorities, EU institutions, social partners and civil society, including more than 20 national ministers and several College Members, will discuss the results of the public consultation on this crucial initiative. Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis stated: ”One thing that the Commission’s proposal to set up a European Pillar of Social Rights has made abundantly clear is the broad support for an enhanced social dimension of European integration. The question is how best to guarantee the fairness and sustainability of our social model in a changing and challenging environment.” Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen added: “The consultation has been a ”reality check” to make sure that no-one is left behind by the rapid changes in our societies and the fast-moving world of work. Economic growth and social progress should go hand in hand.” Since the announcement of the European Pillar of Social Rights by President Juncker in September 2015, there has been a wide debate with EU authorities, member states, social partners, civil society and citizens on the content and role of the Pillar and how to ensure fairness and social justice in Europe. The Pillar has been conceived as a reference framework to screen the employment and social performance of participating Member States, to drive reforms at national level and, more specifically, to serve as a compass for the renewed process of convergence across Europe. The public consultation discussed first ideas presented by the Commission in March 2016. This public consultation ended at the end of December.