This opinion presents the EESC's contribution to the European Commission's strategy to promote decent work not only within the EU but throughout the world. Decent work is unfortunately beyond reach for millions of workers across the globe. The Committee welcomes the Commission's initiative to promote decent work in all sectors and fields on the local and national level, within the EU and beyond. The EESC underlines that the EU must use all its policies, both internal and external, to promote and ensure decent work worldwide.
Impact of the social dimension and the European Pillar of Social Rights on the Future of the European Union - Related Opinions
The EESC welcomes the European Commission's proposal for a Directive on improving working conditions in platform work. The EESC underlined that the platform economy opens up opportunities for both businesses and workers but also raises concerns, which need to be addressed at European and national level and through collective bargaining. The EESC deems it necessary to ensure equal treatment between "traditional" companies and those using digital means based on the functions of algorithmic management, when used to manage work organisation and employment relations: direction, control and/or organisational power. The EESC supports the aim of the European Commission's legislative proposal to address the very diverse regulations in the Member States on the legal classification of the employment relationship.
This opinion, based on a referral by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU, aims at presenting the key elements of sustainable quality work during and after recovery. The EESC considers quality of work as one of the fundamental components of quality of life. The principle of quality of work for quality of life must be followed, as this is a prerequisite for sustainable social development. The EESC therefore firmly believes that it should be given special attention in EU policies, as it must prevent the risks of inequality, poverty, social exclusion and unfair competition. The EESC notes that the Recovery and Resilience Facility does not directly address the components of quality work, and therefore calls on the Commission to supplement this part of the facility. Vulnerable groups, such as precarious and young workers, who have been hit hardest by the epidemic, should not be overlooked.
In this opinion, the EESC underlines that the Action Plan on the European Pillar of Social Rights should be based on concreteness and tangibility, with actions that are measurable and accompanied by monitoring frameworks jointly agreed among relevant stakeholders and encompassing the social, environmental, and economic criteria. The EESC acknowledges the diversity and the common basis of social models across the EU. Competitiveness and higher productivity based on skills and knowledge are a sound recipe for maintaining the well-being of European societies. The EESC further believes that greater efforts can be made at EU and Member State level in the area of combating poverty, in line with the first Sustainable Development Goal under the UN 2030 Agenda.
Through this opinion, requested by the German Presidency of the Council, the EESC recognises the essential role of smoothly functioning public services in defending core EU values. The opinion highlights their particular role in times of crisis, like COVID-19, which calls for the maximum human and financial support. The EESC proposes common European principles to support the role of public services in defence of democracy. They include the principles of neutrality, legality, proportionality, equal treatment and transparency; the right to good administration; independent oversight; the protection of public services staff against decisions breaching the rule of law; accessibility; interoperability; and the respect of the rule of law including when receiving EU funds.
Γνωμοδότηση της ΕΟΚΕ: Principles for public services (i.e. public services for citizens, public administration) that contribute directly to the stability of the free democratic basic order (democracy and the rule of law) in EU countries (Exploratory opinion at the reques
Social dialogue, at national and European level, plays a key role in shaping economic, labour and social policies that promote the upward convergence of living and working conditions across Member States. Growing globalised and interconnected economies have caused an evolution of social dialogue and require a common and coordinated approach at European level. European social dialogue is an inalienable component of the European social model and is enshrined in the Treaty, supported by EU legislation and recognised in the European Pillar of Social Rights. The EESC encourages the European social partners to exploit all of the potentialities the Treaty offers them to engage in negotiations to address the new topics and rapid changes in the labour market.
Γνωμοδότηση της ΕΟΚΕ: Social dialogue as an important pillar of economic sustainability and the resilience of economies taking into account the influence of lively public debate in the Member States (Exploratory opinion at the request of the German presidency)
In this opinion, the EESC notes that platforms have "a generally positive impact on the economy", contributing as much to job creation and innovation, flexibility and autonomy for workers, as to ensuring income for workers (often supplementary) and allowing vulnerable people to access employment. It also notes that there are risks that must not be underestimated: (i) for workers, the denial of basic rights, including the rights to organisation and collective bargaining; precariousness; low pay; the increasing intensity of work; the extreme fragmentation of work on a global scale; the non-affiliation of workers to social security schemes; and (ii) for society, the increased risk of competition based on undercutting social standards.
This exploratory opinion was requested by the European Parliament with a view to a forthcoming Commission initiative on fair minimum wages. The question of Decent minimum wages across Europe is a complex and sensitive issue. It is important that any EU action is based on accurate analysis and understanding of the situation and sensitivities in the Member States and fully respects the social partners' role and autonomy, as well as the different industrial relations models.