The integrity of the Single Market came under heavy pressure during the pandemic. The vast restrictions that Member States imposed at their borders lead to a patchwork of rules, the disruption of value chains and ultimately added to the severe challenges businesses were facing in the COVID19 pandemic. Now that the vaccination rollout is picking up speed, it is time to take a step back to evaluate how the crisis impacted the Single Market and how it can be a powerful resource for a stable economic recovery. The need for a coordinated EU approach will be discussed as well as the impact initiatives, such as the Digital Green Certificate, can have on the economic recovery.
The European Commission (EC) has pledged to make the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) the compass of Europe’s recovery and the EU's best tool to ensure Europe’s future is socially just and no one is left behind.
Europe Day on 9 May commemorates the date of the Schuman Declaration, which was the starting point for today’s European Union. It is a chance to reflect on what solidarity has built and what we hope to achieve in the future.
It is also a chance to make EU citizens feel even more strongly that they are part of something bigger, as expressed in the Europe Day interinstitutional theme of "togetherness".
The Commission proposed in March 2021 new pay transparency measures, such as pay information for job seekers, a right to know the pay levels for workers doing the same work, as well as gender pay gap reporting obligations for big companies. The proposal aims to strengthen the tools for workers to claim their rights and facilitate access to justice. Employers will not be allowed to ask job seekers for their pay history and they will have to provide pay related anonymised data upon employee request. Employees will also have the right to compensation for discrimination in pay.
The Conference on the Future of Europe offers a unique opportunity to improve the Union's ability to deal with these issues, not least by involving social partners and EU citizens who can offer concrete insights into their actual needs and expectations.
The Porto Social Summit (7- 8 May) will give political impetus to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and its Action Plan, underlining its central role in the European recovery and the adaptation to the climate, digital and demographic transitions. It will also provide an opportunity to reinforce dialogue with social partners, civil society organisations and with citizens.
The pandemic transformation is causing a significant shift in the global balance of power. The EU must act as soon as possible to boost Europe's economic resilience in the COVID-19 context and build its open strategic autonomy. This includes, among other elements, strengthening the international role of the euro, increasing the resilience of European financial market infrastructures, and improving the enforcement of EU sanctions.
The new Roma framework presents seven areas of focus for the next 10 years: fighting antigypsyism and discrimination; reducing poverty and social exclusion; promoting Roma participation; access to quality education; access to quality and sustainable employment; improving Roma health and equal access to housing. It provides targets to be attained by 2030 and recommendations for their attainment.
The hearing aims to look at the proposals and plans outlined in the new Roma framework in more detail. It will also include a discussion with civil society organisations, giving them the opportunity to voice their views and expectations thereon.
To improve the implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights it is necessary to empower civil society organisations, rights defenders and justice practitioners, and strengthen people’s awareness of their rights under the Charter. CSOs and social partners are operating at grassroots levels and can help spread awareness and foster implementation. Moreover, the social partners have a special role in contributing to the implementation and defence of socio-economic fundamental rights.