28 September the European Parliament's Committee on Employment and Social
Affairs (EMPL) published its initiative report "A strong social Europe for Just
The aim of the strategic initiative is to
identify the main challenges facing the European labour market, regions,
sectors and workers over the next ten years and to describe the main policy
instruments and initiatives in this context. The authors of the report also
call for a fundamental social policy agenda to be adopted at the Social Summit
under the Portuguese Council Presidency next year.
Regulatory framework for social progress
The first part of the report focuses on the
implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, for which the European
Commission has already announced an action plan for early 2021, and the
adoption of a pact for sustainable development and social progress.
Financial resources for a strong social and sustainable Europe
In the second part, the Parliament sets out
financial instruments with which a fair transition can be achieved. These
include, in particular the European Social Fund, the Youth Guarantee, the
Guarantee against Child Poverty, the SURE instrument (Support to mitigate
Unemployment Risks in an Emergency) for the protection of jobs and workers and
the Fair Transition Fund.
In addition, the authors of the report call
for a "Porto Agenda", which should include binding targets and
proposals on the following areas:
- Adequate work as well as sustainable and inclusive labour markets
- Social justice and equal opportunities
- Stable social systems
- Mobility under fair conditions
For each of these areas, targets are set
with a time frame extending up to 2030, such as the demands for a broader
coverage of collective agreements in the labour market, halving youth
unemployment, eliminating gender pay gaps or affordable housing.
Against the background of the COVID-19
pandemic and, in particular its impact on all healthcare professionals, an
appropriate holistic strategy will be assigned to them.
Finally, the rights of workers in
cross-border or seasonal employment relationships should be further
strengthened. In this context, the unsolicited report emphasises the
significance of the European Labour Authority (ELA) and calls for extension of
Background and further steps
The report is a response to the relevant Commission Notice of 14 January 2020, in which the Commission already set out its own initiatives and initial
reflections on the creation of a social Europe and asked the EU partners for
further contributions, in particular to achieve the objectives of the pillar of
Parliamentary votes on the initiative
report are scheduled for 16 November in the EMPL Committee and 14 December in
plenary. You can find further information here.