In the plenary sessions held on 10 and 11 May
2023, the EP (European Parliament) discussed and voted on a motion
for a resolution enabling a roadmap for a social Europe to be implemented as a follow-up to the social
summit held in Porto. The motion for a resolution was approved by a large majority
after some amendments were applied to it.
EPSR as a fulcrum
During the motion for a resolution, the EP
worked on the EPSR’s (European
Pillar of Social Rights) principles and its associated action plan.
MEPs repeatedly referred to the Porto 2021 Social Summit, noting that the
Summit's 2030 core objectives are insufficient for fully implementing the
EPSR's targets in education, employment and poverty. With regard to this the
motion for a resolution was accompanied by other specific demands made by the
MEPs to the EC and the Council, which are also of importance to the German
social insurance system.
In its resolution the EP also called for a
legislative proposal from the EC for an ESSPASS (European Social Security
Card), so that selected digital documents such as an A1 certificate can be
checked in real time in the future. As part of the initial ESSPASS pilot project, the INPS Italian pension
insurance institution and the German Federal Pension Insurance Association (DRV
Bund), etc., developed a completely digital process for applying for, issuing
and checking the so-called posting certificate, i.e. a portable A1 document
that will allow an A1 certificate to be stored in a digital wallet. The EP is
now calling for a corresponding EU legislative act. The clear objective here
should be that even more social security related personal data could be used
digitally in future by EU citizens and verified by authorities that need this
European disability card
The EC has also promised that an EU disability
card will be created by the end of 2023 and the EP has been reminded about its
implementation. This card should attain mutual recognition throughout the
member states (see
DSV News 01/2023 as well). From German Social Insurance's point of
view, this approach could be followed by being able to file this document
digitally in an ESSPASS in the future, e.g. a severe disability could be
digitally documented in the pension procedure for old-age pensions for severely
Platform and temporary agency work
With regard to platform working, the EP has
raised this with the Council and called on it to reach an agreement and a
common position on the proposed directive about platform working. German Social
Insurance has previously reported on the efforts of the Swedish Council
With regard to temporary agency working, the EP
has called on the EC to revise the existing directive covering temporary agency
working to ensure that seasonal and mobile workers get good and decent working
conditions. The EC promised this in Porto.
Combating poverty in old age
The demand for long-term income security with
regard to Principle
15 of the EPSR is of importance for pension insurance. The EP reminded everyone
here that all EU citizens should receive a pension that is in line with their
contributions and that there must be minimum benefits that prevent poverty in
old age. In particular, both men and women should have equal opportunities to
acquire sufficient pension rights. In order to realise this objective and
according to the Porto Social Summit target, at least 78 per cent of the
population aged between 20 - 64 should be and remain in employment by 2030.
However this also means that attractive measures must be implemented,
especially for older employees, to keep them in the labour process longer, e.g.
through more flexible working hours and age-appropriate workplaces (see
DSV-News 04/2023). It also includes a general option for all workers to access
further training and retraining, which on the one hand will take into
consideration the challenges of environmental and digital changes and on the
other hand it will enable people to participate longer in working life. This
will also strengthen the social security systems.
More generally, the EP has also called for the
fight against poverty in the EU to be given a high priority in the next EPSR
action plan and for it to be part of the roadmap for a social Europe.