Today, 22nd February 2021, one week before the release of the release of the Action Plan for the Social Pillar and in parallel to the informal EPSCO meeting “Jobs, Qualifications and Cohesion: Priorities of a Stronger Social Europe”, the Stand Up for the Social Pillar Alliance publishes the following common statement:
The European Confederation of Industrial and Service Cooperatives, the European Trade Union Confederation, Social Economy Europe, the Social Platform, members of Alliance Stand Up for the European Pillar of Social Rights, jointly state:
The Alliance calls for an ambitious Action Plan implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR). We believe that the EU’s recovery must be grounded in strong, sustainable and resilient economies flanked by progressive social policies and services to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our health, employment, economy, and on equality and democracy in our societies.
We are committed to the principles enshrined in the EPSR and call on our European and national institutions to deliver an ambitious Action Plan to fully implement them. This Plan must be based on the European values, principles and cornerstones of:
–Innovativeness and comprehensiveness: The Action Plan to implement the EPSR must lead to a higher quality of life for all, with new policies to bring social progress as well as a greener and more digital future.
– Promptness: The Action Plan should protect workers and enterprises that are suffering from the economic consequences of the pandemic crisis with the main aim of preserving jobs, including income of workers, self-employed and social entrepreneurs.
– Social ambition: The Action Plan should restore social and regional cohesion, fight inequalities, poverty and exclusion, lead fairer digital and green transitions, establish gender equality, ban discriminations and ensure equal opportunities for all. In the aftermath of the pandemic, it should rely on a job-rich recovery and lead to strengthened social protection systems that guarantee dignity to people of all ages.
– Social and economic well-being: The Action Plan should guide the use of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) and shape a fairer and more equal post-Covid reaction. The RRF must fund actions that implement the EPSR and that relaunch the European project on the basis of thriving economies, advanced social models and wide-spread well-being.
– Investments and common good: We expect the Action Plan to promote public investments and to champion universal, effective, high quality and accessible public services, including health and care. It must stimulate private investors’ commitment to pursue the public good as well as tangible environmental, social and good governance progress. Enterprises of all sizes that can provide a high social return must be supported and rewarded – including business models developed by the social economy and not-for-profit providers of social services, paying special attention to the collective and community dimensions and to socially relevant performances.
– Concreteness and tangibility: Actions aimed at recovery and social progress must be concrete and should therefore be measurable and accompanied by monitoring frameworks, jointly agreed among relevant stakeholders, encompassing the social, environmental and economic criteria.
The Alliance calls for an Action Plan that increases the social resilience of our economies and provides all citizens and residents of the EU with minimum standards of protection and equal opportunities. The Action Plan should promote inclusivity to those who are in the most vulnerable situations– women, migrants, people with disabilities, young and elderly people, people experiencing poverty and social exclusion, especially children, those who do not have enough means to lead a life in dignity, although in-work, such as low skilled, platform, atypical and precarious workers.
The Alliance asks for reciprocity and transparency: when public money is allocated to businesses, it should privilege businesses with higher social returns such as enterprises of the social economy. Consistency must be at the forefront of legislative and policy interventions, alongside with budgetary and public procurement considerations which safeguard social, environmental and democratic priorities.
The Alliance advocates for an Action Plan that enforces the rule of law as a minimum standard at all levels across Europe. It must build on good governance, especially in the workplace, collective bargaining and social dialogue. Collective entrepreneurship and cooperative worker buy outs must be promoted. Civil dialogue has to be further developed. The effectiveness of reforms and investments for comprehensive societal progress must be founded in a strong consensus.
The Alliance believes that only an Action Plan that accomplishes the goals described above can ensure fairness and progress from the social, labour, economic and political points of view. Additionally, our recommendations also guarantee that Europe’s recovery is people-led and emblematic of our European democracy.
With this in mind, the Alliance commits to mobilise its Europe-wide membership to active participation in the Conference on the Future of Europe, maximising citizen’s involvement in shaping it.
Please find here the pdf version of the statement.