Vice-President of the EC, Valdis
Dombrovskis, who is responsible for economic affairs, together with Nicolas
Schmit, Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, presented the
Pillar of Social Rights action plan on March 4, 2021. The close link
between the economic and social policies becomes apparent here. The European Pillar of Social Rights action plan presented by the EC
aims to implement the principles through concrete action.
It is now up to member states
The notification announced the initiatives
that the Commission will introduce to implement the 20 principles of the
European Pillar of Social Rights. The measures needed to successfully implement
all of the defined principles should, as far as possible, be accomplished by
2030. Whether or not this can succeed remains to be seen.
However, the most important role lies with
the member states as they are primarily responsible for employment and social
policies as well as their implementation. The action plan is also the EC's
contribution to the social summit planned for May 7, 2021, to be held in Porto
under the Portuguese Council Presidency.
Specific targets have already been defined
The defined core objectives in the action
plan cover the three main areas of employment, skills and social protection.
Initially to create jobs and combat unemployment among young people and
secondly, to guarantee training and qualifications for all EU citizens.
The following successes are targeted:
sector: at least 78% of people aged between 20 - 64
should be in employment.
sector: at least 60% of all adults should
participate in further training courses every year.
protection sector: The number of people at risk of
poverty or social exclusion should be reduced by at least 15 million.
A Commission recommendation about Effective Active Support
for Employment (EASE) following the COVID-19 crisis was published together with
the action plan and a proposal for a Council recommendation on minimum income
A high-level expert group will also look at
the future of the welfare state, its financing and its links with a changing
working world and they will produce a report by the end of 2022.
Of particular interest in terms of social
security is the pilot project planned for 2021 to explore a digital solution to
improve the portability of social security rights by 2023. The European Social
Security Passport will be created as a result of this, building on the European
eID initiative and planned for the second quarter of 2021.
The action plan also includes an initiative
for long-term care and the definition for a framework for policy reform and new
tools for measuring gaps in access to health care in the coming years.
The German Social Insurance system will
closely monitor further developments and their effects.
Other published documents about the EC's
action plan can be found here.