Today, European Union leaders have solemnly proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights at the Social Summit for fair jobs and growth in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Pillar was first announced by President Juncker in his 2015 State of the Union Address and presented by the Commission in April 2017. Today it was signed by President Juncker for the European Commission, President Tajani for the European Parliament and Prime Minister Ratas for the Council of the European Union.
On this occasion, President Juncker said:
„This is a landmark moment for Europe. Our Union has always been a social project at heart. It is more than just a single market, more than money, more than the euro. It is about our values and the way we want to live.
The European social model has been a success story and has made Europe a world-class place to live and work. Today we assert our common values and commit ourselves to a set of 20 principles and rights. From the right to fair wages to the right to health care; from lifelong learning, a better work-life balance and gender equality to minimum income: with the European Pillar of Social Rights, the EU stands up for the rights of its citizens in a fast-changing world.
The proclamation of the Pillar at the Gothenburg Social Summit comes at a key moment to anchor a strong social dimension in the future of the European Union. The timing was chosen very deliberately, making Europe‘s social dimension the first milestone on our road to Sibiu.
In times of deep change – whether in life or in politics – it is only natural to come back to what defines you and to what holds you together. Therefore I am glad that we could all agree on the European Pillar of Social Rights in less than half a year since the European Commission proposed it. This shared commitment is a strong demonstration of European unity.
The Pillar – and Europe‘s social dimension as a whole – will only be as strong as we allow it to be. This is a joint responsibility and it starts at national, regional and local level, with a key role for social partners and civil society. Therefore, while fully respecting and embracing the different approaches which exist across Europe, we all now need to turn commitments into action. Europeans deserve nothing less.
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