The Proclamation leaves room for uncertainty

On 17 November, the Presidents of the three main EU institutions agreed to proclaim the European Pillar of Social Rights on the occasion of the Social Summit in Gothenburg. ESIP welcomes this inter- institutional proclamation as a way to achieve convergence in the European Union towards a high level of social security for EU citizens.                                                                                               

ESIP further welcomes the ambition of the European Commission to further advance the social dimension of the European Union.

However, ESIP notes that the declaration in itself has no legally binding character. Much will have to be done to bring it down to initiatives at national or EU level, in line with the subsidiarity principle.

Furthermore, ESIP welcomes the fact that the Pillar could help give social and health objectives precedence over fiscal policy and economic growth, as put forward in our position paper. Yet, while the Commission President has stated that the accompanying Social Scoreboard will feed into the European Semester, he has yet to clarify in which way and to which extent.

Several initiatives have been put forward as a way of delivering the Pillar by updating and complementing EU law. Of particular importance for ESIP is the proposed initiative on the access to social protection. ESIP is willing to give its input to policy-makers to ensure the initiative effectively contributes to manage the challenges raised by new forms of work for social security systems. Some of these challenges have already been underlined by ESIP’s first survey on the statutory coverage of digital platform workers, and reflexion on this topic will be deepened.

Overall, much remains to be done to ensure that the Pillar successfully makes Social Europe more concrete for EU citizens.