Adequate social protection should be guaranteed to workers in all employment relationships

Access to social protection is a key element in a fairer society, yet for many people on Europe's labour market and in particular for those in new forms of work or for the self-employed, that access is becoming increasingly inadequate, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) warned in its opinion on the European Commission's proposal for a Recommendation on access to social protection.

The EESC urged authorities at all levels, as well as civil society and social partners in the European Union, to work together towards restoring social sustainability "with a broader objective of creating a level playing field in the social area, where everyone under the same rules and at comparable conditions can enjoy access to social protection".

"The EU must encourage equality among European citizens and we need to talk about social sustainability of our societies", the rapporteur for the opinion, Giulia Barbucci, told the plenary. "Our task is to reconfirm the European social model and to rebuild trust in the EU and thus combat the proliferation of Euroscepticism. This will have an effect on the future of the EU".

The EESC called on the Member States to explore ways of funding social security systems in a way which not only ensures the sustainability of these systems, but also makes them more inclusive so as to guarantee access to those systems for people in new labour relationships and for the self-employed, as well as for all vulnerable groups. (ll)