The opinion examines the possible introduction of a new concept into EU law: "low-profit". This concept would define all organisations that are likely to make a profit but that do not intend to distribute it to their owners or shareholders, as they have a different purpose.
Making a reality of the European Pillar of Social Rights (the "Social Pillar") will require improvements in Member States and a robust budgetary base, investment and current spending.
More public investment within Member States can be facilitated by reference to a Golden Rule for public investment with a social objective, which would allow more flexibility in budget rules with a view to achieving the aims of the European Pillar of Social Rights. More public investment can also be supported by the use of existing EU instruments, especially the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs), and by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). This support should explicitly include objectives linked to the Social Pillar.
Appropriate taxation policies, including effective fight against tax fraud, tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning, should allow Member States and the EU to raise additional means to contribute to the financing of the Social Pillar.
Lifelong learning will ensure jobs and decent living standards. However, in the absence of a standardised system across the EU, not all workers have opportunities to reskill and upskill during their careers, an EESC study finds
Social dialogue is an important tool for ensuring health and safety at work. However, in the face of changes brought to the world of work by the digital and green transition and the health crisis, social dialogue will have to be strengthened across Europe. It should be complemented by more robust rules on musculoskeletal disorders and psychosocial risks leading to major work-related illnesses such as heart conditions, stroke, cancer and depression
The pandemic has made it even more urgent to address the new challenges for health and safety at work. Enhanced social dialogue is required to guarantee better standards in teleworking and, more generally, in the digital environment
The EESC broadly supports the new EU Strategy against trafficking in human beings 2021-2025, but also calls attention to the need of the social dimension to be incorporated into the policy.
The speech delivered by von der Leyen in the 2021 State of the Union Address has to be critically received, mainly for what it lacks in terms of ambition and clarity, despite naming virtually all the key challenges Europe faces.
According to the EESC, the Commission's Action Plan on the European Pillar of Social Rights is both timely and necessary to thwart the threat of inequalities deepening across Europe in the aftermath of the pandemic.