Subcommittee - For a social dimension of the European Economic and Monetary Union

EESC opinion: Subcommittee - For a social dimension of the European Economic and Monetary Union

Key points

  • 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.