It is time to build the social pillar of the EMU within the framework of a social Europe, without which citizens' adhesion to the European project as a whole will remain at risk.
A new European Social Action Programme should be launched with tangible measures to develop social governance and participatory ownership of the European project.
The European Semester exercise must include employment, social inclusion and societal benchmarks.
The European Social Fund and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund must be raised to a level commensurate with what President Van Rompuy has termed the "human tragedy and social emergency" of the European employment and social situation.
The EU should better assist responsibly social investment and the supportive role of the social economy. A European Social Innovation Fund should be created.
The dramatic scale of the youth unemployment crisis requires a more credible EU budget than the inadequate EUR 6 billion proposed for the European Youth Employment Package and Guarantee.
Real jobs, decent work and portability of social rights must lie at the heart of a sustainable European recovery programme with guaranteed social standards.
The EU must engage more seriously and tangibly in the reduction and eradication of poverty, with a possible European Anti-Poverty Solidarity Fund.
A European Accessibility Act with a European Mobility Card are essential to ensure persons with disabilities of their rights.
If there is insufficient consensus or political will for such a revitalised EU social dimension, the EESC would propose the option of enhanced cooperation within the EMU, with own financial resources, a supplementary Social Fund, a Social Progress Pact and social standards, objectives and stabiliser mechanisms matching the fiscal, budgetary and monetary stabiliser mechanisms.
The EESC would propose two new exploratory initiatives:
the issuance of European Social Bonds financed, owned, managed and supervised transparently by civil society stakeholders;
the setting-up of a European Education Network for Unemployed Workers.