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The ETUC welcomes the Action Plan implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) and backs the call addressed to Member States, EU institutions and social partners to endorse the Action Plant to keep the EU social agenda prominent in all the policy areas of the EU.

The Action Plan outlines a forward-looking vision of a social Europe, with concrete actions that will ensure raising minimum standards to protect people and workers, and to trigger upward convergence of working conditions in Europe. The ETUC also welcomes the attempt to better exploit synergies between the EPSR and the sustainability agenda putting the decent work agenda at the core of the EU development model. A richer set of indicators and targets should reinforce the social dimension of the economic governance and better assess the impact of the Action Plan on workers.

However, the action plan has some shortcomings as it lacks a comprehensive narrative and set of actions to fight all forms of precarious work. Furthermore, the need to prolong emergency measures is not clearly stipulated, consequently overlooking the urgency to protect jobs in companies that are more likely to survive, the actual
consequences of the current economic turmoil cannot be forecasted with a reliable level of confidence. The lack of a strong legislative initiative on Minimum income and a proposal on permanent reinsurance scheme or any other stabilizer to support employment is disappointing, and we ask the Commission to keep the discussion on
these elements open to find more effective solutions.

The Action Plan complements the Pillar, identifying avenues for financing the envisaged measures, offsetting a shortage of the original proposal for an EPSR (especially the Preamble). However, the Action Plan should have been clearer on the requalification of governments’ expenditure to align it with the objectives and actions of the ESPR, also approaching a revision of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP).

Posted in Semester News

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