EU must transform intent into real benefits for citizens
On 17 November, the European Parliament, Council and Commission will sign the Inter-institutional Proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights in Göteborg. The Greens/EFA group welcomes this declaration of intent, but calls for action to make a social Europe a reality.
Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts comments:
"We welcome this signal of intent to create a more socially conscious European Union. Good intentions, however, are not enough. This needs to be followed by concrete action, with social issues at heart of the policy agenda. Indeed, ambitious social objectives were enshrined in the EU treaties decades ago. Yet they are not reflected in policies designed at EU level, such as those on trade or the economy, or implemented by the Member States. The Greens will see the forthcoming Annual Growth Survey of the Commission as a litmus test of the new political will to make the declaration operational. What is at stake is the building of more egalitarian societies where all people can feel included and protected with a sense of belonging to the European project."
Greens/EFA co-president Ska Keller comments:
"Investing in Europe's people will not just deliver important social outcomes: it can be a driver of the economy, too. Quality and affordable care services could improve the lives of millions of people by ensuring better work-life balance for all while increasing women's participation in the labour market. This would reap major economic returns, from increased productivity to higher employment rates.
"Of course, none of this comes for free. But the politics of austerity should not be the limit on our ambitions. By fighting tax evasion and avoidance, we can unlock billions to invest in essential public services and adequate social protection for all."
The Greens/EFA group has set out its five priorities for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights: see here for more details.