July 2019, Yana Toom (RE, EE), Member of the European Parliament and member of
the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, presented a draft report on a
motion for a resolution on strengthening employment and social policies in the
report outlines a cross-section of various policy initiatives and measures from
the last two legislative periods, such as the European Semester, the
country-specific recommendations, the European Pillar of Social Rights and the
Multiannual Financial Framework. Accordingly, the report provides information
on future priorities in social policy for the coming legislative period.
Labour market and social policies
in Europe are faced with a number of challenges which the Member States must
tackle together. Major structural changes such as demographic change,
migration, increasing global trade, economic integration and developments
related to digitalisation require policy answers.
Therefore, the report emphasises the
call for strengthening key social policy issues in order to foster economic
stability in the euro area. Positive mention is made of the high employment
rate of 73.5% across Europe, as well as strong growth in the number of
full-time employees and among employees over 55 years of age.
However, ongoing discrimination
against certain groups of people such as women, people with disabilities, certain
illnesses or migration backgrounds is still problematic. The EU must continue
to improve the overall social situation in order to permanently eliminate the
risk of poverty and possible gaps in the coverage provided by social protection
Calls on the Commission
The report welcomes the
Commission’s country-specific recommendations but criticises their slow
implementation. Parliament therefore urges the Commission to exert the
necessary pressure on Member States.
It is imperative to strengthen
the growth potential of individual EU economies in order to ensure equal access
to the labour market and social protection for all population groups.
It is also important to increase
efforts to reduce the gender pension gap, improve work-life balance, and
provide access to childcare facilities and long-term care facilities.
report calls on the Commission and the Member States to better implement the
European Pillar of Social Rights in order to prevent poverty and social
exclusion. The German Social Insurance welcomes Parliament’s efforts to provide
EU citizens with the best possible social security and to create good framework
conditions. We will continue to monitor the political developments.