- considers the Social Imbalance Procedure (SIP) as an opportunity to improve the coordination of national efforts to achieve upward social convergence and promote a better use of the current governance architecture in the EU. Multiple crises and their long-term effects are putting upward social convergence at risk in the EU, with fiscal, macroeconomic and environmental governance being more developed and better coordinated than social governance;
- proposes that social imbalances be defined as the critical situations identified by the social scoreboard and clear deviations from the path towards achieving the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) Action Plan targets. The quality of the methodology for measuring social outcomes should be improved so that full account can be taken of the EPSR principles and multi-year trends;
- recommends that the SIP be integrated into the European Semester, throughout its different phases. The European Commission and the Council should use the Joint Employment Report, the Country Reports and ad hoc in-depth reviews to identify and address the social imbalances. The country-specific recommendations should address such imbalances and encourage Member States to implement specific reforms. In response, after consultation with social partners and civil society organisations, the Member State concerned should propose the necessary initiatives and reforms to improve the critical situations identified in the Country Reports;
- calls on the Commission and the Member States to consider making existing rules for funds allocation (including the ESIF, RRF and others) more flexible so that they can be quickly adapted to current societal challenges and critical situations identified in the implementation of the SIP.