Securing social triple A rating for EU requires political engagement and proper funding

The EESC calls for sufficient funding resources to be put in place for implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights. Improvements in the Member States and a robust commitment in terms of budget, investment and current spending are needed to make the Social Pillar a reality.

The progressive implementation of the pillar requires not just the commitment of the Member States but also the active ownership, responsibility and participation of all the other stakeholders involved – and adequate funding measures to reflect this.

"The key elements for the funding will be more flexibility in EU budgetary rules for public investment, the full use of European Structural Funds and fair taxation," says Anne Demelenne (Workers' Group, BE), the rapporteur for the opinion on the subject.

The EESC is convinced that adequate social investment will be crucial for ensuring Member States' ability to accomplish the stated objectives. Scope for appropriate spending could be created within Member States and with the help of EU programmes. Existing European instruments should be used to support public investment in the Member States. 

As Anne Demelenne argues: "The principles of the Social Pillar and the need for its implementation should constitute one of the guiding lines in the upcoming negotiations on the European Union's post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework. We urge, in line with the European Parliament, that the current 1% ceiling for the EU's expenditure be increased."

More public investment within Member States could also be facilitated by appropriate tax policies and by invoking a Golden Rule for public investment with a social objective. In addition to national public and EU funding, the EESC believes private sector investment could make a contribution in some areas.(jk)