Legislation & Policies
Social policies are a shared competence between the EU and Member States. This means the EU – albeit with some limitations – has the right to introduce legislation and policies that set social standards across the bloc. The extensive body of social rules and guidelines set by the EU over decades has proved the EU’s added value in achieving social progress and equal opportunities for people across the continent.
What is the EU doing?
The European Commission has made three main legislative and policy proposals to transform the Social Pillar from words to action:
• A directive on transparent and predictable working conditions that improves rights for all workers, particularly addressing insufficient protection for workers in precarious employment (contract and temporary work)
• A directive on work-life balance that sets new and improves existing leave rights for parents and carers
• A recommendation on access to social protection for workers and the self-employed, who are not fully covered by social security schemes
What does Social Platform want?
The EU has a proven track record on delivering policy in areas concerning employment and social issues, fundamental rights, and non-discrimination. From promotion of health and safety in the work place to social security coordination, the EU’s social rules developed over decades have proved its added value in achieving social progress and equal opportunities for people across the continent. To further the impact of the Social Pillar it is vital to introduce EU legislation to put in place minimum social standards and expand policy instruments. Read more in our position paper, ‘Building Social Europe: A comprehensive implementation approach for an effective European Pillar of Social Rights‘.
Together with members, we advocate for ambitious and people-centred directives and recommendations with the goal of leaving no one behind. We have made and continue to make proposals on access to social protection, work-life balance and working conditions, many of which were taken on board in the final texts. More can be done to make sure that these new rules are introduced effectively in EU Member States, and we will support our members in getting their expertise on the situation at national level heard at European level.
- Position paper, ‘Building Social Europe: A comprehensive implementation plan for an effective European Pillar of Social Rights’ (2018)
- News article, ‘Social Europe – celebrating new rights for people!’ (2019)
- Advocacy letter, ‘Joint letter to the EPSCO Council: Let’s move towards swift transposition of the EU Work-Life Balance Directive!’ (2019)
- Response to EU public consultation, ‘Access to social protection for people in non-standard forms of employment and self-employed’ (2018)
- Policy recommendations, ‘Investing in services: Challenging myths’ (2017)
- Response to EU public consultation, ‘Response to the public consultation on the European Pillar of Social Rights’ (2016)
- Position paper, ‘EU Social Standards: Ensuring every person’s fundamental right to live a life in dignity and fully participate in society’ (2016)
- Position paper, ‘Investing in services and work-life balance to improve gender equality’ (2016)
- Position paper, ‘Working towards the introduction of adequate minimum wages for all in every Member State’ (2015)
- Position paper, ‘Financing of social services’ (2014)
- Position paper, ‘Ensuring adequate minimum income schemes throughout the EU as the basis for high level social protection across the life span’ (2014)