Social Platform at the European Commission’s strategic dialogue meeting on the European Semester

On 24 January, Social Platform participated in a strategic dialogue meeting on the European Semester, organised by the European Commission. In these meetings, the European Commission invites interested EU level civil society organisations (CSOs) active on the European Semester to update them on last steps in the process and hear their views on them.

In this meeting, the European Commission first updated participants and answered their questions about the main elements of the European Commission communication “A strong Social Europe for just transitions” published mid-January. It also presented the Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy, the document that sets out the general economic, social and environmental priorities for the EU and offers EU governments policy guidance for the following year, which was published mid-December.

In a second step, the Commission also updated CSOs and answered their questions about the European Commission proposal for the Joint Employment Report, the document that analyses the employment and social situation in Europe and the policy responses of national governments, published mid-December as well.

Afterwards, the European Centre of Expertise in the field of labour law, employment and labour market policies informed participants about the results of the research on the role of civil society organisations in policy-making at Member State level. This research is an ad-hoc piece of research commissioned by the European Commission to gain insights into the conditions, opportunities and barriers that civil society organisations at national level face with regards to various aspects that need to be ensured to allow them to engage in policy-making. These include, among others topics, legal frameworks, availability and independence of funding sources, level of civic engagement at national level, the degree of professionalisation of CSOs, national practices of policy-makers to consult CSOs etc.

Finally, the European Commission presented different proposals for formats for upcoming events and gathered opinions and alternative ideas from participants.