CECOP: Reactions to European Commission’s Consultation on a European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan

CECOP reacts to a European Commission consultation on the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, highlighting the crucial role worker and social cooperatives take to ensure the protection of social rights of their members by providing quality work and social inclusion.

In its 2021 work plan, the European Commission announced an action plan to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights. In light of the green and digital transitions, but also the demographic challenges across Europe, the European Pillar of Social Rights is a key building block to ensure socially fair and inclusive economies and societies.

In response to a recent open consultation of the European Commission, CECOP welcomes the European Pillar of Social Rights as a crucial step forward to build a truly inclusive and social Europe. Worker and social cooperatives are crucial players in implementing the goals defined in the European Pillar of Social Rights and created successful strategies to put social and democratic values at the core of their business models.

Worker cooperatives, based on the values of self-responsibility, self-help, democracy, equality and equity, provide and defend the social rights of their members and of the communities they grow with. By identifying challenges and developing solutions to serve the wellbeing of their members, cooperatives developed multifaceted strategies to promote social rights. This potential has been acknowledged by the European Parliament in its Resolution on the European Pillar of Social Rights from 19 January 2017.

One of the greatest problems that European Societies are facing and that undermine efforts to create a truly social Europe are the ever-increasing inequalities. Globally, the richest 8 persons possess as much wealth as the 3.7 billion poorest people on the planet. But inequalities are dire not only in the distribution of wealth: denied opportunities prevent people from developing their potentials and live a life in freedom and dignity. Unequal access to employment, education, health services and social protection reinforce and deepen existing inequalities. Worker and social cooperatives are fighting these causes of inequalities across Europe by providing fair wages for employees and creating opportunities for disadvantaged people.

Together with Social Economy Europe, the Social Platform, the European Trade Union Confederation, and the European Movement International, we form the ‘Stand Up for the Social Pillar Alliance’, advocating for a comprehensive implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. CECOP will follow the development of the Action Plan on the European Pillar of Social Rights closely and advocates that worker and social cooperatives are a crucial building block of a new Social Europe.

Read full position paper here.

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