MEPs pledge support for social rights – but not adequate wages for Europe’s workers

Members of the European Parliament signalled their strong support for the European Union to do more to protect social rights in an important vote today [19 January] in Strasbourg, but stopped short of supporting standards on minimum wages.

The adoption of the report on ‘A European Pillar of Social Rights’, authored by Maria João Rodrigues MEP, outlines the European Parliament’s vision for improving social rights within the Eurozone. Despite the parliament’s traditionally soft stance on social issues, the ambitious report encourages the European institutions to commit to concrete action in the fields of equal opportunities and access to the labour market, fair working conditions, and adequate and sustainable social protection.

Social Platform, the largest civil society alliance fighting for social justice in the EU and a key supporter of Ms Rodrigues’s report, has long campaigned for the EU to reinforce its social dimension, and welcomes today’s vote.

Jana Hainsworth, President of Social Platform, said:

“Congratulations to Ms Rodrigues for this important achievement. Decision-makers are finally accepting the views of civil society organisations that the EU’s hard-line economic policies are unsustainable and that respecting social rights is also good economic policy. The report contains many promising proposals, such as the introduction of legislative measures to improve work-life balance and a re-evaluation of the effectiveness of national minimum income schemes. Nonetheless MEPs voted against sections of the report that would have supported adequate minimum wages – meaning many low paid workers will continue to struggle to put food on the table and a roof above their head.”

Following the vote, Social Platform will continue to campaign for a strong and implementable Social Pillar, and as such will be discussing with decision-makers how to secure adequate financing to make the aspirations of the report a reality.


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