The latest edition of our Social Agenda magazine explains how the European Pillar of Social Rights, proclaimed by EU leaders last November, sets the stage for a more united and democratic EU and is strengthening the social dimension of EU economic governance.
The new social dimension
A new European social dimension is emerging ahead of two deadlines coming up in 2019: Brexit in March and European elections in June. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker put forward in September 2017 a roadmap to ensure a more united and democratic EU with a strong employment and social component.
Two months later, the EU leaders proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights, which the Commission had initially adopted in April 2017 in the form of a Recommendation.
The 50th issue of the Social Agenda explains the process leading to the Proclamation by EU leaders, in particular through an interview with our Director General, Michel Servoz.
The European Pillar of Social Rights has teeth: a new Social Scoreboard with many more indicators than before, to better evaluate Member States' economic performance from a social and employment angle.
Thanks to these indicators, the 2018 European Semester process of economic governance is able to to pinpoint 50 critical cases, in 18 countries, which need to be urgently addressed. The article on this is completed by an interview with Jeroen Jutte, head of the European Semester coordination unit in DG EMPL, who is going through his fifth European Semester exercise.
The proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights by the EU leaders was also intended to help EU, national and local actors take ownership of the Pillar. The Secretary General of the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities, Luk Zelderloo shares his own expectations.
Social innovation and analysis
For economic growth to be sustainable, it must be inclusive. This issue of Social Agenda puts the spotlight on two requirements without which fair growth cannot come about:
- social innovation – through initiatives that are social both in the process they put in place and in the goals they want to reach. A conference on "Opening up to an era of social innovation" took place in Lisbon in November 2017 and was organised by the European Commission, the Portuguese government and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to take stock of these initiatives and give them a boost.
- addressing structural challenges facing the EU – as we emerge from the economic crisis, it has become urgent to make the labour markets and social protection systems fairer for Europe's young people, by ensuring effective solidarity between generations