Ladies and gentlemen,

I look forward to work together with the Austrian Presidency over the next 6 month to continue making progress on our social files.

We have focused on the impact of digitalisation on the world of work during our first informal EPSCO.  

It transforms the way we organise our work; how we perform our work; and of course it even changes the kind of work we do.

How we manage this transition will be vital for the future of our societies, economies and the well-being of our citizens. Digitalization offers great opportunities but also challenges.

While new forms of work can make it easier to enter the labour market and lead to more flexible working arrangements, these may not be as stable as traditional employment relations. And they may create uncertainty regarding rights and legislation.

Our response comprises of two strands:

Firstly, investing in people's skills throughout their life.

We do this through our European Skills Agenda and the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Secondly, modernising our labour law and social protection systems to respond to the new world of work. We have made proposals in this sense to make sure that transparent and predictable working conditions also apply in the most precarious situations and making sure that everybody, also in new forms of work and the self-employed , have access to social protection.

All these opportunities and challenges have been highlighted in our flagship analytical report – the Employment and Social Developments in Europe 2018 which was released last week.

This formed a valuable input to our discussions today to harness and shape those changes brought about by the new world of work.  Thank you.