Rooted in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which was the first international treaty to take a human rights approach to disability, the EU Disability Strategy for the next decade is a promising document with many commendable proposals and only a few flaws. But for the strategy to be able to live up to its promise of ending discrimination against 87 million European with disabilities, its implementation will require a strong political will and resources.
”Työllisyys, sosiaaliasiat, kansalaisuus” jaosto (SOC) - Related News
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on Europe's labour markets, taking the heaviest toll on the lowest paid sectors and those involving a high level of human interaction. Whereas the possibility of working remotely and the government measures taken across Europe have managed to cushion the most severe blows by keeping people employed and businesses running, the EU and the Member States will have to take action to curb inequalities once the support policies are withdrawn
Solidarity à la carte, too strong a focus on border controls and too little emphasis on legal and labour migration pathways are among the main faults found in the New Migration Pact, with few tangible achievements in Member States’ negotiations on how to deliver a comprehensive policy that can successfully rise to the challenge of effectively managing migration to the EU
Equal pay for men and women or for work of equal value is one of the fundamental rights and principles of the EU, but on average women are still paid 14% less per hour than men, with pay differences present in all sectors and widening with age. Although welcomed as a much-needed step to close the gender pay gap, the Commission's proposal on pay transparency is receiving a mixed response, an EESC hearing found.
Having learnt from the shortcomings of the previous EU Roma framework over the past decade, the European Commission is determined to achieve the headline targets of the new Roma strategic framework, closing the gap of discrimination and socio-economic exclusion by at least half by 2030. However, the role of the Member States in delivering tangible results is pivotal. Without effective national strategies and pragmatic measures, the new framework risks failing in the same manner as its predecessor.
All across Europe, LGBTIQ individuals suffer from discrimination which affects their educational performance, job prospects, wellbeing and even the exercise of their fundamental rights, such as freedom of movement within the EU. To tackle this situation, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an opinion at its April plenary session calling for non-discriminatory regulation of the concept of family at EU level.
With one of the EU's fundamental values frozen for over a year, the Digital Green Certificate paves the way for free and safe movement within Europe in the COVID-19 era. The EESC welcomes the introduction of the Digital Green Certificate as an excellent common standard to minimise complexity for travelling passengers and to facilitate their movement, as long as fundamental rights and data protection requirements are fully respected.
With recent surveys showing that 66% of Europeans would like the EU to have more say over health-related matters, and more than a half in favour of public health becoming the EU's top priority in terms of expenditure, the EU should start playing a more active role in protecting the health of its citizens. The EESC thinks that the Commission's recent package on an EU Health Union is a step in the right direction.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has warned at a high-level web conference that the pandemic has made energy poverty worse and that urgent measures are needed. All institutions at every level must rally around in a coordinated approach, with the active involvement of organised civil society.
Hailed as ambitious and holistic, Europe's new plan for beating cancer has met with applause from cancer organisations and civil society. Now, as the pandemic is taking a heavy toll on cancer detection and care, the plan needs to be urgently and properly implemented. So much is at stake – without decisive action, Europe may face a cancer tsunami, with the disease projected to become the leading cause of mortality in just under 15 years.