The Social Progress Protocol, proposed during the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE), gives precedence to social, workers' and trade union rights when they are in conflict with economic freedoms. However, while everyone agreed that social rights and economic freedoms can co-exist, support for making the protocol primary EU law is far from unanimous, with diverging views among the social partners and in the academic community, an EESC hearing confirmed
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) calls on the EU and Member States to implement more concrete measures to support the health, housing and financial needs of the growing number people taking on long-term caregiving responsibilities of a family member.
The transition towards a low-carbon economy is a fundamental priority. But the green transition will fail without social dialogue. This represented a general agreement among the discussions during the meeting, particularly if climate policies were not made also socially sustainable and did not take into account the needs and worries of working people, of citizens. Key points raised during the debates included the fact that real wages were decreasing with the soaring inflation, the complementarity of fighting climate change and protecting social rights, and the fundamental role of involving Trade Unions in the design and implementation of policies within the Green Deal.
Academia, local civil society organisations, representatives of regional and national authorities and members of the European Economic and Social Committee met at a conference in Dolni Vítkovice, a former industrial area for coal mining and steel production in Ostrava, on 11 October 2022. The conference on Reinventing the Moravian-Silesian Region in search of a socially just transition was organised by the EESC's Civil Society Organisations' Group as part of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Lifelong learning will ensure jobs and decent living standards. However, in the absence of a standardised system across the EU, not all workers have opportunities to reskill and upskill during their careers, an EESC study finds
Social dialogue is an important tool for ensuring health and safety at work. However, in the face of changes brought to the world of work by the digital and green transition and the health crisis, social dialogue will have to be strengthened across Europe. It should be complemented by more robust rules on musculoskeletal disorders and psychosocial risks leading to major work-related illnesses such as heart conditions, stroke, cancer and depression
The pandemic has made it even more urgent to address the new challenges for health and safety at work. Enhanced social dialogue is required to guarantee better standards in teleworking and, more generally, in the digital environment
The EESC broadly supports the new EU Strategy against trafficking in human beings 2021-2025, but also calls attention to the need of the social dimension to be incorporated into the policy.
The speech delivered by von der Leyen in the 2021 State of the Union Address has to be critically received, mainly for what it lacks in terms of ambition and clarity, despite naming virtually all the key challenges Europe faces.
According to the EESC, the Commission's Action Plan on the European Pillar of Social Rights is both timely and necessary to thwart the threat of inequalities deepening across Europe in the aftermath of the pandemic.