The 2020 Annual Report of the Social Protection Committee (SPC) delivers on the Committee’s core task to monitor the social situation in the EU and the developments in social protection policies in the Member States.
Based on a set of key indicators and Member States’ reporting, the report, as usual, analyses the progress towards the Europe 2020 target on reducing poverty and social exclusion, together with the latest social trends to watch, and presents the key structural social challenges in each Member State.
However, following the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept across Europe in 2020, the report also focuses on the decisive action taken by Member States to protect employment, income and access to services through a variety of measures.
It highlights that, in spite of the important measures adopted, unemployment in the EU is rising and there is a significant risk of widening economic and social disparities between and within the Member States.
In this context, the report emphasises that measures to address the longer-term socio-economic impacts of the pandemic may still need to be combined with targeted containment and support measures in the short term. Member States should continue pursuing their reform agendas, addressing also the gaps unveiled by the current crisis, and enhance the resilience of social protection systems, thus underpinning well-being and social cohesion in the longer-term.
The European Pillar of Social Rights should continue to guide Member States’ reform efforts and its principles should continue to be systematically implemented.