Social Europe: Europeans want the EU to do more (survey) 


Europeans want the EU to do more to fight unemployment, promote health and social security and support gender equality. Read more about the Parliament’s actions in these fields.

What is the EU doing to create a more social Europe? Find out in our article ©AP Images/ European Union 2017 - EP  

EU citizens are keen for the EU to do more to create a more social Europe, according to the latest Eurobarometer survey commissioned by the Parliament. A large majority (78%) would like more action on unemployment with 63% of respondents saying current EU action on it is insufficient, which is six percentage points less than last year.  When it comes to health and social security, 70% of people would like the EU to intervene more, while 49% feel current EU action is insufficient.

Another important issue is gender equality: 65% would like to see more EU measures to promote the equal treatment of men and women, with 43% saying current action is insufficient.

Regarding different social classes, 84% of respondents say that inequalities in their country are currently important, with 64% thinking that these inequalities wil be more important in five years' time.

EU action for a social Europe


The EU is taking several steps to boost employment: The Europe 2020 strategy is a long-term growth and jobs initiative aiming to increase the employment rate of people aged 20–64 to 75%. The EU also helps people find a job across Europe with its job mobility portal Eures. In addition financial assistance is provided: with the European Social Fund, the EU helps people to get work or to improve their skills. The Global Adjustment Fund provides support for people having lost their jobs due to companies shutting down or moving their production outside the EU. There is a special focus on young people entering the labour market: the Youth Employment Initiative is run to support young people who are not in education, employment or training and the European Solidarity Corps offering young people the opportunity to take part in solidarity activities across Europe, has been launched recently.


MEPs approved legislation establishing a platform for better cooperation in combatting undeclared work. They also adopted a report calling for better protection of workers by ending social dumping.


In April the European Commission presented a proposal for a European Pillar of Social Rights to support fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems. The Parliament report on this calls for decent working conditions in all forms of employment, as well as measures to promote a proper work-life balance and fight child poverty.


In addition MEPs are currently working on new rules for posted workers, strengthening rights for parents and carers and a better coordination of social security systems.