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European Commission - Statement

Statement by Commissioner Thyssen on the occasion of International Labour Day

Brussels, 1 May 2017

Europe is home to the world's most advanced welfare systems. The European social model has been a success story. But this is not a given. There are plenty of opportunities and challenges ahead of us. Globalisation, digitalisation and an ageing society - we need to shape these developments and make good use of them.

Creating a more social Europe, one that protects and empowers workers, not only today but also in tomorrow's world of work, has been this Commission's priority from the very start. This is a matter of both social fairness and economic necessity: economic growth goes hand in hand with social progress.

During this mandate, we have put several proposals on the table to better safeguard and improve workers' rights and protection. From proposals aiming at fighting social dumping, such as the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive, to better protecting the health and safety of workers, to helping young people find their place on the job market, we have been working hard to strengthen the social dimension of Europe.

On 26 April, we have opened a new chapter: The European Commission presented the European Pillar of Social Rights. It includes 20 key principles and rights for citizens and workers, which will support fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems. The Pillar will be our reference framework to guide future policy, so that we make sure that we safeguard and improve where needed the rights and protection of workers. We aim for broad political support and high-level endorsement of the Pillar towards the end of this year.

Already now, the Pillar is accompanied by four concrete initiatives to update and complement current EU rules in key areas of work-life balance, the information for workers, access to social protection and working time. And we will not stop here. Delivering on the Pillar's principles and rights is a work in progress, and further initiatives will follow where needed.

International Labour Day reminds us of the struggle workers have been through over the past 2 centuries to achieve the high social standards that we enjoy today. Let us join forces to make the Pillar of Social Rights, and social Europe as a whole, a reality for every worker in Europe.

For more information

Follow Marianne Thyssen on Facebook and twitter, #SocialRights


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