"Thanks to the adoption of the European Pillar of Social Right at last November's Gothenburg summit, social rights are back on the EU's agenda. However, in order to make a difference to the life of Europe's citizens, we expect now that words are put into action: we need strong social policies, properly implemented on the ground and underpinned by social investment", emphasised PES Group President Catiuscia Marini ahead of this year's International Labour Day.
As a result of austerity-only policies, inequality at work and job precariousness for many are still at the raise. According to a recent Eurofound study, the risk of relative in-work poverty has significantly increased, with 10% of European workers at risk of poverty in 2014 compared to 8% in 2007. Those hit hardest are society’s most vulnerable such as, elderly, migrants, young people and women. "We urgently need to strengthen workers' rights in Europe through a minimum EU level of fair working conditions and a clear reference framework to which national legislators and the courts could refer ", pointed out Marini, adding that the vertiginous rise of new forms of employment as a result of digitilisation and the platform economy requires resolute measures at European level to ensure adequate worker protection.
She went on to stress that "local and regional authorities, who know the realities on the ground, have to be closely involved when designing, implementing and evaluating policies or legislative measures".
The PES Group will be a front-runner, fighting for decent working conditions through two opinions: on More transparent and predictable working conditions (drafted by Isolde Ries, PES/Germany) and on the European Commission's proposal for a European Labour Authority (rapporteur: Doris Kampus, PES/Austria).
At the same time, in the context of the negotiations on the future Multiannual Financial Framework, the Group will fight for a strong future European Social Fund (rapporteur: Catiuscia Marini), which is vital to making the European Pillar of Social Rights a reality, as it supports projects aimed at social inclusion through jobs and poverty reduction.