Taking account of the outcome of debates with organised civil society in all Member States, the EESC adopted an opinion on the European Pillar of Social Rights in January 2017. It is now working on an opinion on the draft interinstitutional proclamation endorsing the European Pillar of Social Rights and the link between the pillar and the reflection paper on the social dimension of Europe by 2025. A hearing on this issue will take place on Thursday, 20 July 2017.
In March 2016, the European Commission presented an initiative for a European Pillar of Social Rights to put into motion President Juncker’s commitment to secure “a fair and truly pan-European labour market”, as a part of the on-going work on achieving a deeper and fairer Economic and Monetary Union. The EESC wanted to ensure that the European civil society was fully involved in this important initiative. It therefore organised debates with organised civil society in all the Member States. This would provide a platform to exchange and gather views on the most urgent social and economic challenges at national and European level, and how a European Pillar of Social Rights could contribute to addressing these.
The debates took place from September to mid-October 2016 and the recommendations fed into the EESC Opinion on the European Pillar of Social Rights, which was adopted at the January 2017 plenary session.
The EESC Opinion covers a range of issues, including the future of work in the context of the changing realities of the world of work such as the transition to a digital economy in the EU, how the labour market can better address the needs of companies, workers and job-seekers, how to secure sustainable and quality social protection and services, as well as how to promote and sustain cohesive societies in Europe. Reflecting the importance of the Social Pillar to the Committee, the Presidents of the three EESC Groups took on the role of rapporteurs of the EESC Opinion: Mr. Krawczyk (Employers’ Group), Ms. Bischoff (Workers’ Group) and Mr. Jahier (Various Interests Group).