Question for oral answer to the Commission Rule 128 Thomas Händel, on behalf of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs
Subject: What is a 'social triple-A' rating?
In his October 2014 speech to Parliament, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker declared his ambition for the EU to achieve a ‘social triple-A’ rating. The ‘five presidents’ report’ entitled ‘Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union’ recommended a strong focus on employment and social performance, while recognising that there is no one-size-fits-all template. The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council of 7 December 2015 adopted conclusions as ‘part of the vision for a social triple-A rating for Europe’, emphasising that ‘social governance should be used to its full potential to identify and address key common social and employment challenges and trends to watch with a view to the achievement of the common employment and social objectives, including the Europe 2020 targets’. It should be noted that, following its initial announcement, the Commission has not yet provided concrete and structured information on progress towards a social triple-A rating.
– What is the Commission’s definition of a social triple-A rating for Europe, and can it provide concrete details concerning the concept, its components and the underlying objectives?
– What existing and new mechanisms, procedures, indicators and measurable targets – within and outside the European Semester – will it apply to achieve a social triple-A rating, and how will these instruments be used?
– What is its detailed timetable for pursuing a social triple-A rating?
– How will it promote convergence based on common high-level standards, what kind of reforms and legislation does it intend to promote at EU and national level, and how will it monitor progress towards these standards and a social triple-A rating in general?
– How will it ensure that a social triple-A rating is achieved for the EU as a whole and not only for the economic and monetary union?