Pittella: There will be no future for the European Union without a strong Social Union

social_europe social rights

The S&D Group wants legislation to ensure decent working conditions in all forms of employment, a living wage for all Europeans and a European Child Guarantee. These were some of the proposals adopted by the S&D Group bureau today as part of a paper calling on the European Commission to put labour and social rights at the heart of the strategy for the future of the European Union.

 

S&D Group President Gianni Pittella said:

“Many of our citizens don’t believe the EU is working for them.  Too often, they associate it with crippling austerity and do not see what direct benefits it brings to their lives. If the EU is to survive, this has to change. We need to make sure that Europeans re-identify the European Union with the protection and the reinforcement of their labour and social rights and an improvement in their quality of life.

"Today we have outlined four areas where the Commission needs to act – job quality, social protection, creating equal opportunities and fair mobility. These must be at the heart of the Commission’s work in the next two years.”

 

S&D Group Vice-President responsible for Social Europe, Udo Bullmann added:

“We have put forward a clear set of priorities on which the Commission needs to act. We are calling for a Directive on decent working conditions in all forms of employment, guaranteeing every worker access to a core set of labour and social rights. The creation of a living wage index to help define an appropriate minimum wage in each Member State. As well, as guarantees on minimum social protection, ensuring universal access to health care, basic income security and access to essential goods and services.

“We need action to ensure everyone has a fair chance in life. We want a European Child Guarantee so every child at risk of poverty will have access to free health care, free education, free childcare, decent housing and adequate nutrition. This should go hand-in-hand with new proposals on the reconciliation between personal and working life – including a revision of maternity and parental leaves and proposals on paternity and carers’ leave.

“We need to act now on these key areas. If citizens see the EU on their side, they will invest themselves in shaping our common future.”

 

Note to editors

The full paper can be read here