The EU has 25 million unemployed and another 25 million working poor. These numbers not only hurt but also go against core EU objectives: to use economic convergence to improve the lives of its citizens.
These numbers call for further social investment and reforms: active labour market policies are crucial to help move people into jobs, while welfare systems need to be modernised to achieve maximum impact in terms of social and economic inclusion.
EU funding needs to be used to alleviate social distress and promote social inclusion. The Structural Funds and in particular the ESF will have increased means to do so. The EU's new Programme for Employment and Social Innovation, the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund and the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived can also contribute to this goal.
The EESC on social policy
Recommendations related to these and other measures are set out in a range of opinions prepared by the EESC's SOC section. All events and opinions on social policy can be accessed through the red and green boxes on this page.