Developing the European Social Pillar
Despite the provision in the Treaties, in practice, Social Europe has so far been closely instrumentalised and subjected to functional ideology, due to the assumption that social integration would automatically occur as a result of market integration. This assumption was not borne out in fact, and the recent crisis has unveiled major social inequalities between European citizens and the lack of satisfaction concerning several social needs.
Against this background, the European Democratic Party suggests the following proposals:
The European Pillar of Social Rights is one of the EDP's major priorities for the forthcoming years ideally a specific treaty on the Social Europe should define its general objectives and scope in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity.
In the immediate future, we urge European institutions to draft a roadmap for the development of this social pillar that links the completion of the internal market with the gradual implementation of a genuine convergence strategy regarding working conditions, minimum wages, the fight against social dumping, guaranteed minimum income and minimum pensions. The objective is to provide all Europeans with the right to a decent life, taking into account the differences in the cost of living between Member States, while ensuring sustainable growth and sound management of public accounts.
Priority must be given in law in particular to gender equity in terms of access to employment, as well as equal wages (for equivalent jobs).
We recommend the promotion of the social economy and associative work models, such as collective cooperation, to counteract the negative effects of globalisation.
We propose that the European Globalisation Fund can act preventively, before redundancies and company relocations.
The European Pillar of Social Rights should make concrete proposals on key policy areas such as aid to families and children, the promotion of higher birth rates, work-life family and personal balance, and on long-term care for the elderly, particularly those who are dependent.
Similarly, proposals should be made in favour of better social inclusion of young workers under 30 years old and older workers over 50 years old in the labour and housing market.
Finally, in keeping with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, we advocate the participation of Local and Regional Governments in the management of instruments like the European Social Fund and the Youth Guarantee, since it is at a sub-state level where active employment policies are applied, including social innovation and equality policies.