Group of Social Pillar Champions – a step towards building a more social Europe for all and with all

In recent weeks, the European Pillar of Social Rights (Social Pillar) has been getting a lot of attention. From it’s 4th anniversary on 17 November, to work ramping up on important policy areas is covers (including minimum wages), more and more decision-makers recognise that the EU can – and should – do more on all things ‘social’.

No time for losers ‘cos we are the champions…of the Social Pillar

As the Social Pillar is front and centre in Social Platform’s work, we could not be silent – and we have not been! In recent months, we have been busy building the Group of Social Pillar Champions in the European Parliament. This informal group brings together Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from across the political spectrum who are some of the most vocal and visible supporters of social rights, both for their own constituents and people across the whole EU. Building on the strong line taken on social rights at the Porto Social Summit, the group aims to build momentum for stronger, more sustainable, and inclusive social rights for all people in the EU, and to strengthen collaboration between MEPs and social civil society organisations. We also want to raise the awareness of people across the EU about the Social Pillar, the importance of social justice, and the vital role that the European project has in protecting and promoting human rights.

To achieve that, we first needed to raise awareness about the Group of Social Pillar Champions, and to date we have a growing membership of 42 MEP members from 18 EU countries and 5 political groups!

Commissioner Schmit launches our group

At the end of November we held an event to officially launch the group,  co-hosted by Dennis Radtke MEP. We welcomed Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, to give a keynote speech and he happily adopted the title of honorary “Social Pillar Champion” in the European Commission for his commitment to the EU social agenda. The event also featured a powerful testimony from Teodora Ion-Rotaru from ACCEPT Romania, the first human rights NGO in the country to defend and promote LGBT rights. She highlighted the systemic discrimination LGBT people face in Romania in many areas of life, underlining the need to take swift and ambitious action to make the Social Pillar a reality. Then several MEP members of the group took the floor to welcome this initiative and restate their commitment to fighting for a more Social Europe: Milan Brglez, Estrella Dura Ferrandis, Agnes Jongerius, Katrin Langensiepen, Monika Vana, and of course Dennis Radtke were just some of the MEPs who spoke passionately about how turning the Social Pillar into reality would make a positive change to their constituents and people across the EU.

To get a recap of our event, check out the hashtag #SocialPillarChampions on Twitter.