EESC in a Flash with Oliver Röpke
President of the EESC Workers' Group
The Conference on the Future of Europe and Social Rights
‘To improve social justice means, first, that all working people and their families will have decent wages and decent working and living conditions. I think what people and especially working people and their families expect from the Conference on the Future of Europe is tangible results which will have an impact on the daily life, results which will improve their living conditions, their working conditions, results that will make sure that all the workers in Europe will enjoy decent wages.
What does the Social Progress Protocol propose?
A social progress political integrated in the treaties should make sure that fundamental social rights -including trade union rights- should not long be subordinated under the economic market freedoms. Across Europe, workers request to have the same wage for the same work at the same workplace. We cannot discriminate workers because they come from a different member state. Therefore, the Conference on the Future of Europe could be an option and must be an opportunity to push for such Social Progress Protocol.
How to reform the Stability and Growth Pact?
We cannot come back to austerity-based policies as in the past. And I think we should take the lessons, and the lesson is clearly that we need space for investments, also for public investments and therefore a reform of the Stability and Growth Pact should lead to a kind of Stability and Sustainability Pact, which leaves the space for future investments in healthcare, in public services, but also in the industrial change and in the Green Deal, in the green transition, in the digital transition. And we should use all those options to make sure that the Stability and Growth Pact Pact will guarantee all the flexibility that we need for the future.