European Semester: social policies are the key to economic recovery in Europe 

Press Releases 
Plenary session 
 
 
  • Fairness and social rights should have the same importance as macro-economic objectives 
  • European Semester to include indicators from the Social Scoreboard 
  • National reform plans should contribute to principles of European Pillar of Social Rights 

In a resolution voted today, MEPs reiterate the importance of the social dimension in this year’s Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy and in the national reform and resilience plans.

MEPs call for fairness and social rights to have the same importance as macro-economic objectives in order to promote the well-being of people the EU. Decent work with adequate wages, equal opportunities, fair mobility and robust social welfare systems are essential elements in the just transition to a sustainable and social EU, they add. In order to strengthen the democratic accountability of the European semester evaluation, the European Parliament and social partners should be more involved in the process.


Social dimension of the Recovery and Resilience Facility

This year’s European Semester process is closely linked to the new Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). MEPs welcome the RRF, but insist that reforms should be based on solidarity and a fair distribution of wealth. They highlight that member states must include a detailed explanation of how their national reform plan contributes to the implementation of the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights, such as quality job creation, education and skills, investments in young people and children and gender equality. The indicators of the Social Scoreboard should be used to evaluate the plans, they add.


The resolution on the social dimension of the European Semester was adopted by 508 votes, to 121 and 64 abstentions.


Debate on the EPSR Action plan

The social dimension of economic recovery in Europe was also the central theme during the debate on the recently published Action Plan on the European Pillar of Social Rights, with Commissioner Schmit and Secretary of State Ana Paula Zacarias representing the Council. Most speakers welcomed the Action Plan for its concrete measures for the implementation of the 20 principles of the pillar. However, they emphasized, it takes concrete action by the member states and by the European Commission to deliver concrete results on these priorities.