The Social Employers proposals to strengthen social Europe

The Social Employers just adopted a new position paper, aimed at contributing to the European Commission’s consultation on the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR).

With the new position paper, the Social Employers contributes to the consultation on the implementation of the EPSR, and provides input on necessary steps to strengthen social Europe. The position covers three main angles:

1. Strengthen the effectiveness of social rights

The organisation of social services must be steered towards meeting the needs of people, in all their diversity. The implementation of the EPSR principles calls for further developing individualised services, that meet the needs of service users, and enable them to fully be part of society and take control of their own lives.

Strengthening social services also means strengthening the economy, because social services help people excluded from the labour market get back into jobs.

2. Give political impetus to develop social services

It is important that the European institutions give a strong impetus for the development of social services throughout Europe. The Social Economy sector needs to be further acknowledged by the EU as well as by the Member States for its role in social cohesion and job creation.

The EPSR has added more institutional weight to the role of social dialogue and the involvement of the social partners in designing social policies through the European Semester process. This priority needs to be maintained and further developed.

3. Investing in social services

Social services have been hit hard by the pandemic, also financially, in terms of additional costs for staff and equipment, and the need for reorganisation of services. These expenditures must be considered by the national authorities and in the initiatives that the Commission takes, to support the social services sector.

Beyond the economic recovery from the pandemic, social services need to be considered as priority when defining the operational programmes of European funds in the long-term EU budget 2021-2027. Spending in social services should not be regarded as a mere cost but as an investment for the future, especially with the ever-increasing demand for services due to demographic changes.

To tackle workforce shortages and improve the attractiveness of social services professions, the implementation of EPSR principle 8 on “Social Dialogue and Workers Participation”, with the development of adequate social dialogue structures in social services, is crucial.

Read the Social Employers position paper, here.