by the EESC Workers' Group

Spain is planning to put the EU's social dimension at the heart of its six-month presidency of the bloc and this is translating into a record number of consultations for the European Economic and Social Committee on some of the major social issues of the day.

Spain will take on the presidency of the EU Council this July, as we approach the final stretch of Von der Leyen's term, running up to the 2024 European elections. Opening the way not just for the end of this term, but also for the future priorities of the next one, Spain has clearly stressed the social aspects they expect Europe to address, and its will to unlock and push through some of the most controversial files on social matters.

It is perhaps no surprise, then, that Spain has requested an extraordinary number of exploratory opinions from the EESC – no less than 20. These opinions range from the Social Progress Protocol, which the EESC championed at the Conference on the Future of Europe (and which, in the end, was included in the recommendations), to the issues of democracy at work, green collective bargaining, mental health and precariousness, but also the proposal for a Social Imbalances Procedure. The EESC is already finalising work on some of them, and will therefore be ready to feed its contribution into the policy process from the beginning. (ppr)