Social dialogue is an important tool for ensuring health and safety at work. However, in the face of changes brought to the world of work by the digital and green transition and the health crisis, social dialogue will have to be strengthened across Europe. It should be complemented by more robust rules on musculoskeletal disorders and psychosocial risks leading to major work-related illnesses such as heart conditions, stroke, cancer and depression
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The EESC firmly believes that a care model for dependent older people with long-term care needs should be mainstreamed into EU policymaking, given that the proportion of the population aged over 80 is expected to more than double by 2050. The pandemic revealed failures and shortcomings in this area, which must be addressed fast. The Commission's initiative to establish a new European Care Strategy is a step in this direction, but consultative institutions and European civil society organisations representing older people have to have a say.
COVID-19 has caused youth unemployment to soar in many Member States, pushing up the number of young people who neither work nor are in school or in training. National recovery plans represent a unique chance to reverse this trend and secure decent work for all young Europeans.
Support needed for volunteer organisations and individual volunteering initiatives
To promote volunteering, the EU should create a European Year of Volunteers in 2025, reach out to older volunteers and collect data on this activity which is of precious value for Europe's future, says the EESC
With less than half of Europeans in possession of basic digital skills, the EU will need a skills revolution to enable a smooth transition to a digital and green economy and – more importantly – to ensure that no-one is left behind
The EU and Member States must do more to promote the legal capacity of all persons with disabilities (PWD) to guarantee their fundamental rights. Governments must support autonomous decision-making and reject the regressive protocol to the Oviedo Convention
The pandemic has made it even more urgent to address the new challenges for health and safety at work. Enhanced social dialogue is required to guarantee better standards in teleworking and, more generally, in the digital environment
The excessive mortality rates during this pandemic crisis have revealed structural and systemic problems in the nursing home care model. In addition, the rise in life expectancy and the consequent increase in the number of older persons in the years to come, point out the need to reform the care model. How to guarantee improved accessibility, affordability and quality of care, as well as an adequate number of care workers with improved working conditions, are among the key challenges identified during the EESC hearing "Towards a new care model for the elderly: learning from the Covid-19 pandemic".
In supporting a proposed EU strategy for the Schengen area, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has called for more action to be taken to protect the EU's freedoms and rights in the face of human-rights violations at its external frontiers. The EESC is worried about the reintroduction of internal border controls by some Member States, and strongly deplores the slow progress in fully including Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania in the Schengen area.