EU must deliver on social policies or face the consequences

Published on EU Political Report, 21 May 2019

Trust in political institutions will plummet if decision-makers fail to follow up on promises to improve EU social policies, warns Europe’s largest social civil society network.

Invited to represent civil society at the European Commission’s fourth Annual Convention on Inclusive Growth, Social Platform called on EU and national decision-makers to end the practice of introducing economic policies that negatively impact the wellbeing of people and planet.

Social Platform highlighted the potential of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the European Pillar of Social Rights to cement the EU’s role as a global leader for social and environmental justice.

For that, social justice needs to be at the core of the next legislature’s priorities, and policies developed, implemented and monitored with the involvement of civil society organisations.

Comment came from Social Platform Director Kélig Puyet, who features on the closing panel of the conference.

She said: “Social objectives need to be brought to the very top of the EU agenda to ensure they do not fall foul of economic priorities, including through the establishment of an annual Social Summit of Heads of State and Government.

“Civil society organisations are best placed to advise on how EU policies affect the lives of people, including those in vulnerable situations, which is why a commitment to strengthening civil dialogue is a key element of lifting social affairs up the EU agenda.”

A recent Eurobarometer found that only four in ten Europeans trust the EU (42%), and just one-third trust their national government (35%) and national parliament (35%).

Consisting of 49 pan-European networks of NGOs, Social Platform campaigns to ensure that EU policies are developed in partnership with the people they affect, respecting fundamental rights, promoting solidarity and improving lives.

Social Platform was a member of the High-Level Multi Stakeholder Platform on the Sustainable Development Goals. It was on the core drafting team of the platform’s input to the Commission’s reflection paper on a sustainable Europe.