More efficient decision-making in social policy?
Comments from the German Social Insurance.
IF – 09/2019
before the European elections, the European Commission, as one of its last acts
of the 8th parliamentary term, launched a discussion on more efficient
decision-making in EU social policy.
the European Commission has proposed extending decision-making in the Council
to qualified majority voting. The European Representation of the German Social
Insurance reported in detail the possible transition to qualified majority
voting (see article April 2019).
a rapidly changing world of work, it is more important than ever to quickly
find effective policy responses to new circumstances and living conditions.
According to the European Commission, increased use of qualified majority
voting in the Council and the ordinary legislative procedure for social policy
decisions could contribute to this.
of the main arguments for the change is that it would no longer be necessary to
convince every single Member State of the need to take the necessary measures,
only a majority is required. Some time ago, the European Commission put forward
similar proposals for foreign policy, security policy and tax policy.
umbrella organisations of the German social insurance system are taking part in
the debate with a statement and are campaigning for the unanimity principle to
be maintained for social security. Only unanimous decisions in the Council can
ensure that the core components of social security systems remain intact.
German Social Insurance is therefore clearly opposed to the application of the
general bridging clauses in Article 48(7) TEU and qualified majority voting for
social security and the social protection of workers (except in a cross-border
Member States are first
and foremost responsible for organising and financing their social security
systems. Only unanimous decisions in the Council can ensure that the core
elements of social security are not interfered with.
can find the German Social Insurance’s statement here (currently
initiative shows that the European Commission wants to increase the speed with
which decisions are made in social policy in the future. It remains to be seen
whether this will also be treated as a priority under Commission President-elect,
Ursula von der Leyen.