Almost one year ago, on 17 November 2017, the leaders of the European Union solemnly proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights at the Social Summit for fair jobs and growth in Gothenburg, Sweden. Since then, the European Commission has taken concrete initiatives to put the 20 rights and principles into practice at European level. Celebrating this first anniversary of the Pillar, President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, Valdis Dombrovskis, and Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, said:
"The European Pillar of Social Rights is designed to make a positive difference in the everyday life of all Europeans. In the Commission we are using all the tools at our disposal to make the principles of the Pillar a reality.
The European Semester is now more social than ever, with the Pillar firmly integrated in the process to monitor social progress. The 2019 cycle that we launch next week will confirm this again. The Commission has also launched a number of legislative proposals to implement the Pillar. But several of our proposals are still under negotiation between the European Parliament and the Member States. This concerns in particular the European Labour Authority, our initiative on work-life balance for parents and carers, the new Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions, and the reform of the rules on social security coordination. It includes also our proposal for the next European budget to help the Member States invest in people. The European Social Fund Plus alone is to be equipped with more than €100 billion over the period 2021 to 2027. To deliver on our joint promise, we must make swift progress on all these proposals before the European elections in May 2019. Together with the European Parliament, Member States, social partners and civil society, we are committed to safeguard and promote social rights that better support fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems now and in the future."
The European Pillar of Social Rights was first announced by President Juncker in his 2015 State of the Union Address and presented by the Commission in April 2017. On 17 November 2017, European Union leaders solemnly proclaimed the Pillar at the Social Summit for fair jobs and growth in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The European Pillar of Social Rights expresses 20 principles and rights essential for fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems in 21st century Europe. It is the first set of rights proclaimed by the EU institutions since the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The Pillar will help us encourage a race to the top, benefiting all citizens across the EU.
Over the past year, the Commission has put forward several initiatives contributing to making the principles of the Pillar a reality, among which a proposal to help working parents and carers manage their family life and their professional career, updates to the EU health and safety legislation, a proposal for more predictable and transparent working conditions, and a proposal for a recommendation on access to social protection for workers and the self-employed. These proposals complement previous initiatives in the social field taken by the Juncker Commission, such as boosting the Youth Guarantee, supporting the labour market integration of long-term unemployed, ensuring equal pay for equal work for posted workers and making key products and services accessible for people with a disability.
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