by the EESC's Workers' Group
We urgently need to relaunch solidarity and to stop nationalism, racism, and short-sighted policies in Europe.
The European Pillar of Social Rights is fundamental to improving working and wage conditions and social protection systems in Europe, guaranteeing work-life balance, and improving social standards and convergence among EU Member States – including collective bargaining and access to social services.
However, there will be no improvements without money: effective implementation of the Pillar in the Member States will only be possible if they have sufficient financial resources to invest in social policies, thus translating rights and principles into specific policy initiatives.
Therefore, mechanisms such as the European Social Fund, the European Fund for Strategic Investments, and others, must play an important part, as should a fairer taxation system and the inclusion of a Golden Rule, which excludes some social investments – such as education, infrastructure, etc. – from the public deficit, allowing for higher social investment without breaking fiscal rules.
The EESC is currently working on an opinion on the funding of the Pillar of Social Rights, to provide a balanced assessment of how this can and should be achieved by securing more investment, particularly with funds earmarked under the post-2020 multiannual financial framework for the ESF, EFSI, and other EU funds. This opinion adds to the current debate on the next financial framework, which will have an influence on the success of social convergence policies. (prp/mg)