Níl an doiciméad seo ar fáil sa teanga seo. Roghnaigh teanga eile as na teangacha atá ar fáil.

Nós Imeachta : 2005/2248(INI)
Céimeanna an doiciméid sa chruinniú iomlánach
An doiciméad roghnaithe : A6-0238/2006

Téacsanna arna gcur síos :

A6-0238/2006

Díospóireachtaí :

PV 05/09/2006 - 14
CRE 05/09/2006 - 14

Vótaí :

PV 06/09/2006 - 7.5
Mínithe ar vótaí

Téacsanna arna nglacadh :

P6_TA(2006)0340

REPORT     
PDF 257kWORD 207k
13 July 2006
PE 367.963v03-00 A6-0238/2006

on a European Social Model for the future

(2005/2248(INI))

Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

Rapporteur: José Albino Silva Peneda, Proinsias De Rossa

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality
 OPINION of the Committee on International Trade
 OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
 PROCEDURE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on a European Social Model for the future

(2005/2248(INI))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 20 October 2005 on European values in the globalised world (COM(2005)0525),

–   having regard to the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe(1),

–   having regard to the European Social Charter,

–   having regard to its resolution of 18 January 2006 on the European Council's position on the Financial Perspective and the renewal of the Interinstitutional Agreement 2007-2013(2),

–   having regard to ILO conventions on international labour and environmental standards,

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 March 2006 on social protection and social inclusion(3),

–   having regard to the Report of the High Level Group on the future of social policy in an enlarged European Union of May 2004,

–   having regard to the Commission communication on the Social Agenda 2006-2010 (COM(2005)0033),

–   having regard to the Commission Staff Working Document on Sustainable Financing of Social Policies in the European Union (SEC(2005)1774),

–   having regard to the Commission communication on European policies concerning youth - addressing the concerns of young people in Europe - implementing the European Youth Pact and promoting active citizenship (COM(2005)0206),

–   having regard to the Commission working document on the social situation in the European Union - 2004 (SEC(2004)0636),

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, of the Committee on International Trade and of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A6-0238/2006),

A. Whereas the European social model reflects a common set of values, based on the preservation of peace, social justice, equality, solidarity, the promotion of freedom and democracy, and respect for human rights,

B.  Whereas one of the cornerstones of the European social model is the social economy or third pillar,

C. Whereas in the last 60 years, the set of common values reflected in the European social model has allowed a growing EU successfully to become an area of greater economic prosperity and social justice,

D. Whereas, although Member States have different social systems, and have implemented these values in different ways, they commonly aim to attain a balance based on active interdependence between economic growth and social solidarity, and this is reflected in the European social model as a unity of values with a diversity of systems,

E.  Whereas Member States and the EU have given priority to upholding the values associated with the European social model, demonstrated by the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy, which makes social development one of the pillars of sustainable development,

F.  Whereas there is a clear need to modernise and enhance the European social model to respond to demographic changes, meet the challenge of globalisation, and increase the adaptability of human resources to rapid technological evolution, in order to better achieve social inclusion, social justice, and the eradication of poverty,

G. Whereas the European social model must provide measures that meet the challenge of increased migration and immigration and their implications for social cohesion,

H. Whereas any reform of the European social model must not dilute the values that constitute its essence,

I.   Whereas a core message of the European social model is equal pay for equal work at the place of work,

J.   Whereas higher economic growth is paramount for the sustainability of European social standards, and social standards are intrinsic to sustainable growth,

K. Whereas an adequate income is fundamental to social inclusion and active participation in society as well as a life of dignity,

L.  Whereas social policies, when appropriately designed, should not be regarded as a cost but, instead, as a positive factor in the EU's economic growth, not only by increasing productivity and competitiveness, but also by generating social cohesion, raising living standards for citizens, and ensuring access to fundamental rights and equality, thus becoming an important factor in ensuring societal peace and political stability, without which there can be no lasting economic progress,

M. Whereas such social policies must recognise that the majority of employers are small and medium-sized enterprises, and that they employ the majority of employees,

N. Whereas services of general interest (SGIs) and services of general economic interest (SGEIs) were expressly recognised for the first time in the Amsterdam Treaty as core elements of how Member States ensure social and territorial cohesion and as areas which Member States retained the right to define and to fund, and this position was reinforced in the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, which provided a clearer legal basis for European framework legislation in this area,

O. Whereas the concept of the European social model is reflected in the proposed Constitutional Treaty, and is underpinned by the principles of equality, solidarity and non-discrimination,

P.  Whereas the Member States should follow the Roadmap for equality between women and men 2006-2010 (COM(2006)0092), and the European Pact for Gender Equality, and fully transpose current Community anti-discrimination legislation into national law,

Q. Whereas the EU has the capacity positively or negatively to influence the economies in many other parts of the world, by the way in which it trades, both in terms of its role in the WTO and in the conditions that it applies and the agreements into which it enters with less developed regions and countries,

R.  Whereas the implementation of a trade policy based on European collective preferences and globally shared values, and an aid policy aiming to promote education, basic labour and environmental standards, and standards of transparency and good governance, will contribute to the enhancement of the political strength of the EU in international institutions,

Reform of the European Social Model

1.  stresses the necessity to preserve and enhance the values associated with the European social model - equality, solidarity, individual rights and responsibilities, non-discrimination and redistribution with access for all citizens to high-quality public services - and the high social standards already achieved;

2.  recalls strongly that only an EU based on economic and social cohesion that defends its common values can be strong enough to defend its interests;

3.  is convinced that there is no alternative to urgently reforming economic and social systems where they fail to meet the criteria of efficiency and socially sustainable development, and where they are inadequate to tackle the challenges of demographic change, globalisation and the IT revolution;

4.  expresses its deep disappointment at the present growth rate in the EU which makes structural reform extremely difficult;

5.  is aware of the widespread concerns among EU citizens regarding unemployment - especially unemployment among young people - exclusion, poverty, insecurity on the job market, and the potential failure of social security systems;

6.  believes that where demographic changes and unemployment affect certain groups disproportionately the European Union must aim to ensure equal access to high-quality jobs;

7.  views the need to renew the EU's commitment to a social europe as of paramount importance in restoring citizens' confidence in the EU project, which provides jobs, growth and prosperity;

8.  is fully aware that employment and social policy remain broadly within national competence, but stresses that the EU also has competences in this field, as set out in the Treaties, and there is a need for the EU to create a stronger economic and social framework, to allow Member States to implement reforms as necessary at national level, according to their own economic, social and political circumstances;

9.  asks the Commission to take further initiatives to achieve the full implementation of the internal market, which, if fully realised, will create economic growth and competitiveness, having regard to the need to exclude any race to the bottom in social, consumer or environmental conditions;

10. supports the Commission in its efforts to encourage the creation and success of European enterprises, with particular reference to SMEs, which contribute greatly to the EU economy and account for the great majority of private-sector employees;

11. calls on the Commission and the Council to respect the initial equilateral triangle of the Lisbon Strategy and to develop an approach that is better balanced between economic coordination on the one hand and employment and social protection policy on the other;

12. expresses its disappointment that many Member States are far from achieving the Lisbon Strategy objectives, therefore reiterates the call on Member States fully to implement the revised Lisbon Strategy road map, which is considered to be the only sustainable way to achieve economic growth, increase competitiveness and create more and better jobs; calls on the Member States to achieve, in particular, the specific targets set for employment, especially of women and young people, R&D investment, childcare and lifelong learning; views the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy as minimum goals, which are vital if the Member States are to undertake the needed structural reforms;

13. recommends that Member States deepen cooperation and exchange of best practice through the enhanced open method of coordination thereby providing an efficient policy making instrument in the fields of employment, social protection, social exclusion, gender equality in the labour market, pensions, and healthcare; believes that the open method of coordination should enhance the role of parliaments, social partners and relevant organisations;

14. calls on the Commission to democratise the open method of coordination, ensuring that not only the European Parliament but also national parliaments play a full role in the setting and achieving of targets by Member States' governments;

15. stresses the importance of launching public campaigns to explain and negotiate the basis of reform objectives in which EU institutions, national governments, public authorities, social partners, and NGOs have an active role to play;

16. reiterates its support for its resolution of 12 January 2005 on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe(4) and the Commission's '3D' campaign of dialogue, debate and democracy; calls on the Commission now to incorporate the social dimensions in its impact analyses in accordance with the social clause provided for in the draft constitutional treaty;

17. calls on the Commission to respect the social economy and to present a communication on this cornerstone of the European social model;

Financing the reform

18. calls on Member States to undertake reforms in order to ensure the financial sustainability of national social systems, without prejudicing acquired rights, mutual support and intergenerational solidarity, having regard to the context of the changing society and labour market, demographic change, globalisation and technological developments; points out that some of the most successful Member States have already carried out such reforms, while maintaining the sustainability and effectiveness of their social systems; considers, therefore, that comparative analyses should be made of the reforms already made, together with SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analyses of those still to be implemented; stresses the importance of promoting excellence, inter alia by pooling good practice;

19. is aware that in some Member States current contributions to social protection systems may be inadequate to meet citizens' expectations; considers that Member States, while respecting the principle of solidarity and subsidiarity, should reflect on alternative ways to finance those systems which would promote dynamic reforms while not adversely affecting wages, such as by harnessing the added value produced by companies;

20. calls for improved coordination of Member States' tax policies with a view to avoiding harmful tax competition, ensuring sustainable financing for social protection and making tax policy more employment friendly; notes the fact that tax rates on capital and consumption have, in general, remained stable over the last 30 years while real tax rates on labour have risen over the same period, recommends that the Member States reflect in a coordinated way on the possibilities of improving the existing tax systems in the Union, since tax reforms of this nature would benefit financial sustainability of national social systems;

21. stresses the need to strengthen the structural and cohesion funds in order to take account of economic and social cohesion and calls on the Member States to utilise EU funds, such as the European Structural Funds, more efficiently in order to co-finance national reforms; deplores the fact that the recent agreement on the Financial Framework was manifestly insufficient to properly resource programmes in favour of cohesion, education and training, lifelong learning, mobility and social dialogue;

22. stresses that any reforms have to be considered within the context of the Member States budgetary margin of manoeuvre, but suggests that the reformed Stability and Growth Pact offers opportunities for social investment not previously available;

SGIs and SGEIs

23. recalls that SGIs and SGEIs are an essential element of the European social model, and are fundamental to the universal delivery of health, education, public transport, water and energy supplies to all citizens; calls on the Commission to bring forward a proposal for a framework directive on these services as a matter of urgency; considers it essential that in reforming the EU's social systems, SGIs and SGEIs are respected, given their key role not only in delivering a better quality of life to citizens, but also in enhancing businesses’ capacity for efficiency and their access to a high-quality labour force;

24. notes the necessity to deal adequately with new types of family, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, and enlarge the scope of social services, such as accessible childcare, care for those with special needs or disabilities, and long-term-care for elderly persons; while maintaining a high level of consultation involving local social players in medium and long-term planning;

Social Dialogue

25. recalls that social dialogue in its various manifestations is an essential element in the traditions of the Member States and, in accordance with national customs and practices, that any successful reform of the social systems should involve all stakeholders, in particular the social partners; calls for the renewal of the social dialogue at all levels, both national and European and the development of a greater role for the trialogue at European level;

26. recognises the positive role that corporate social responsibility can play in promoting social cohesion through the way in which companies' behaviour impacts upon the daily life of the communities in which they are involved and enhancing companies' accountability to their stakeholders; recommends the use of social and environmental reporting requirements and public policy measures such as public procurement, in order to stimulate responsible behaviour by companies;

Human Resources

27. insists that as a central element of the modernisation of social systems the Commission and the Member States cooperate in the setting up of concrete programmes and initiatives focused on the improvement of working and living conditions and the sustainable development of human resources, such as the setting of targets and standards for improved healthcare;

28. calls for a broad debate concerning the right of all to pensions of an acceptable level; recognises the fear that pension reforms, begun in many Member States, will increase the number of pensioners already living in poverty; highlights the urgent need for positive action to encourage and enable older workers to remain in or re-enter the labour market, grant fair access and more flexibility in choice of pension and retirement schemes; calls on the Commission to study national efforts to address the impact of demographic change on pension sustainability and pensioner poverty; and to monitor more effectively the implementation of existing anti age-discrimination legislation;

29. draws attention to the situation of women whose pension entitlement should not be diminished due to their marital status or interruptions in employment due to maternity or parental leave, or child-care breaks;

30. recognises the advantages of 'flexicurity' systems which Member States should adopt, in accordance with their circumstances, in order to protect workers' capacity to keep/find jobs through mobility and/or improvement of professional skills by way of occupational training and lifelong learning and consider them as a means of promoting reconciliation of work-life balance and work and lifecycle concepts;

31. welcomes the creation of a Globalisation Adjustment Fund, as a potential complement to the European social fund, as well as the Member States' efforts at national, regional and local level to provide specific support for workers for job conversion and seeking new employment;

32. recalls that gender and race equality and the principle of non-discrimination under Article 13 of the EC Treaty, which provides a legal basis for appropriate action to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, must be systematically included in all social policies; considers that emerging EU policies on integration are in fact a concrete form of social policy, which should be developed; believes that ensuring that all: women, men, minority groups, and immigrants, are well integrated delivers benefits to society and social benefits in terms of cohesion and preparedness for the workplace;

Social Protection

33. emphasises that social protection systems should be efficient in achieving their goals of preventing and combating poverty and social exclusion, with particular emphasis on eliminating poverty traps;

34. considers that employment is a decisive factor in achieving social inclusion; therefore, calls for reforms that direct public spending towards raising employment rates and return to work rates and provide incentives to work by eliminating poverty traps and other forms of social exclusion, and address as a matter of urgency the numbers of women and some ethnic minorities who are unemployed, many of whom face societal and/or structural barriers to entering the labour market; study and address the specific problems faced by women from ethnic minorities and immigrant women;

35. recognises that, in the 'flexicurity' approach, creating and maintaining adequate social protection mechanisms is an indispensable prerequisite of flexibility, as is firm protection against unfair dismissal;

External dimension

36. reaffirms that only if the EU can preserve its economic and social cohesion will it be able successfully to defend EU interests at an international level;

37. recognises that, despite its positive effects, globalisation is producing economic and social imbalances, thus arousing deep apprehension in the citizens of Europe, especially in those Member States with high unemployment rates and those regions most affected by company relocations; calls on the Member States, accordingly, to undertake the structural reforms that are needed if the EU is to remain an attractive option on the world stage, with high-value products and services;

38. stresses that the EU should confidently promote its social values of solidarity and social justice in all trade and development negotiations and agreements;

39. calls on the EU and the Member States to adopt political actions in relation to third countries with a high economic growth (Brazil, Russia, India and China) in order to attain a development model which provides for the respect of human rights, democracy, freedom, labour and environmental standards and social justice; calls on the EU to help in finding a global equilibrium between economic growth and high social and environmental standards;

40. calls on the Commission and the Member States to adopt a consistent line in fora such as the ILO, the OECD, and multilateral environmental agencies; believes, in particular, that the work of the ILO should be more closely integrated into WTO agreements and considers that ILO assessments of core labour standards should be integrated into EU strategies towards WTO and bilateral negotiations; calls on the Commission to ensure, through bilateral agreements, that the ILO standards are, as a minimum, respected so that humane working conditions are guaranteed;

41. welcomes the introduction of the GSP+ scheme, which provides incentives for higher social and environmental standards, and calls for this approach to be extended to bilateral trade agreements; notes the need for the Commission to monitor closely the implementation of the scheme with a view to ensuring that compliance with these standards is being achieved;

o

o o

42. instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1)

OJ C 310, 16.12.2006, p.1.

(2)

Texts Adopted of that date, P6_TA(2006)0010.

(3)

Texts Adopted of that date, P6-TA(2006)0089.

(4)

OJ C 247 E, 6.10.2005, p. 88.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

How to continue to improve the standard of living for EU citizens while remaining competitive in the global economy? How to integrate economic, employment and social policy in a way, which delivers sustainable development and social cohesion? How to ensure that all share the benefits of growth?

European Social Model

The European social model is first and foremost a question of values. Whatever European social system we examine we find the common values of equality, non discrimination and solidarity and redistribution as fundamentals, with universal, free or cheap access to education and healthcare, and a variety of other public services as the right of a citizen and as essential to creating the basis for a successful modern economy and a fair society. It is in this respect that our European model differs from the US model for instance.

Social policies (including social protection, health, education and care services) are highly developed in the EU, reflecting a strong attachment to social cohesion.

Academics distinguish 4 different models (Nordic, Anglo-Saxon, continental, Mediterranean) with differences (in level of protection, space for individual initiatives) but also having common features.

All 25 Member States share the same values and the same objective of combining economic performance, competitiveness with social justice. They have different instruments to reach the same goals. These national models are the result of long and complex historical processes.

Your co-rapporteurs take the view that it is important to recognise both the unity of values, and the diversity of the Member States' systems.

Success of the European social model

The EU is "work in progress". Its boundaries and responsibilities have yet to be finally agreed; the debate about, and the development of, its democratic governance will continue possibly for generations. While the impulse for the creation of a United Europe was to end the possibility of European states ever again going to war against each other, the underlying concern was obviously the welfare of the peoples of Europe and of the wider world.

It is important to underline, in spite of the failures and the need to reform, the success of the European social model. It is known around the world for providing a high quality of life. The EU model is seen by other countries, regions (Middle-East) and organizations (Mercosul, Asean) as an example of success.

Even though in excess of 80m people of working age are jobless and over 70m men, women and children are still at risk of poverty in our Union, the general prosperity and political, social and economic stability of Member States has been greatly enhanced by membership of the EU.

Challenges

It is more clearly recognised than ever that the rationale for the creation and development of the EU is in need of restatement in terms that reflect today's political, economic and social realities. This is particularly so in circumstances where the technological revolution is restructuring work and the social relationships that it gives rise to, and where the gradual ageing of Europe's population is a challenge to maintaining a vibrant European presence on the world stage.

As regards demographic evolutions, Europe is faced now with unprecedented problems. In 2030, the EU will have 18 million young people less than today; in 2050, there will be 60 million less inhabitants than today.

Between 2005 and 2030, the number of persons above 65 years of age will rise to 52,3% of the population (+40 million), whereas the group of persons between 15 and 64 years will decrease by 6,8% (- 21 million).

The ratio between inactive persons (young, old and other dependent persons) and persons in the working age will rise from 49% in 2005 to 66% in 2030.

This development is the result of two factors.

The first one is the rise in life expectancy. Since 1960, average life expectancy at 60 has risen five years for women and nearly four years for men. As a result, the number of persons over the age of 80 will increase by 180% by 2050.

The second factor is the decreasing birth rate. Fertility rates in Europe have declined considerably in recent decades. Whereas the minimum birthrate necessary to maintain the population at its present level is 2,1 children per woman, in 2003 women in the EU had on average 1,48 children.

These developments have major consequences for prosperity and for the relations between the generations.

Further challenges to the European system are various facets of globalisation and the technological revolution, which make it easier and financially attractive for companies to relocate to low wage countries, which may be less developed with regard to labour, consumer and environmental protections.

Due to globalization, some Member States have been shown interesting economic growth ratio, which contributes positively to reduce poverty at global level.

However, some others Member States have been experiencing difficulties in adapting themselves to this new reality, which has deepened the citizens' sense of disorientation, particularly in those Member States whose jobless levels are very high, and also in those states where integration of migrant workers and their families has also failed.

Reform

For these and many other reasons the reform of the European social model is, today, at the heart of the debate in Europe.

Demographic changes (ageing, declining birth rates, longer life expectancy), technological developments, globalization, the emergence of new industrial economies and the resulting pressures on public expenditure necessitate an urgent reform of the social systems to ensure they play a productive role in our economy.

The scope for this much-needed reform is a broad one: it has an impact on legislation, on budgets, on public administration and on industrial relations.

Contrary to the view of some the EU Social Model is not the main EU problem. The problem is more a question of the high level of reluctance demonstrated in making economic reforms. As long as the EU is growing around 1% or 2%, there is not much can be done, with the loss of social benefits being almost unavoidable.

The EU can contribute to the necessary reform through a further integration of the internal market, which creates tremendous opportunities for EU citizens and for growth and prosperity. The internal market needs to be reinvigorated by increasing substantially investment and the Financial Perspectives up to 2013 which is sufficient to ensure territorial and social cohesion in all twenty five Member States; by further liberalising markets and the free movement of people in a way which does not contribute to a ‘race to the bottom’; and by completing the Trans-European networks.

Decisions

The Lisbon Strategy sought to address the need for comprehensive and integrated social and market reforms in order to create a Europe of Excellence, which would be up to these challenges. Later, in December 2001, the Laeken Declaration also clearly recognised the imperative for a "relaunch" of Europe in the context of the new global order.

In both decisions the social dimension of Europe is seen as fundamental to citizens' support for the European Union project.

While at this time the Constitution has been ratified in 15 Member States, it has been rejected by referendum in two. There has been much debate about the reasons for its rejection in France and Holland, but what is clear is that the Preamble, setting out the ambitions for the Union, the values and objectives in Part I, and the Charter of Fundamental Rights in Part II, largely reflect citizens' deeply held sense of self-definition as Europeans.

This draft Report on Europe's Social Model for the Future takes the forgoing context as its starting point and outlines the concept of the European Social Model, and also how we can advance the concept in the early years of the 21st century as part of the process of meeting the ambitions of Europeans for our continent, and for world justice.

Your co-rapporteurs emphasis that this reform should not be about giving up the achievements of the European model but rather about retaining the fundamental values by securing the sustainability of the European model.

The sustainability of the model depends both on the success of the strategy for growth and jobs, and on reforms to the model itself. The basis for reform and sustainability is a dynamic, innovation-oriented and business-friendly environment, which respects work-life balance and recognises the need people have for security in a rapidly changing society.

The sustainability problem is much more concentrated in continental and Mediterranean systems, which justifies the need to the look at new ways of financing the social security systems, such as through the added-value created by companies.

We should bear in mind that Europe's competitiveness and social model are not opposites, but rather interdependent. The modernisation agenda should be based on the principle that social policy, if properly designed, is a productive factor of economic growth and prosperity. Therefore, the Member States should comprehensively implement the Lisbon strategy, which is the road map for the reform. The necessary steps should be taken urgently to make Europe more competitive and to create a real knowledge society.

Important in this respect is the "Flexicurity" concept: this means a strategy to develop more flexibility in the labour market, modernisation of work organisation and labour relations, combined with employee security and social protection, work-life balance, retraining and life-long learning. Provisions must be made to upskill and assist vulnerable and disadvantaged groups either in the labour market or who have difficulties in accessing the labour market.

This corresponds to the three key challenges of the Lisbon strategy in the field of employment:

- increasing the adaptability of workers;

- encouraging more people to enter the labour market, and

- investing more in human capital and lifelong learning.

Europe should not give up its ambitious social policies, but should make full use of their potential contribution to economic performance and quality of life.

- enhancing efficiency of social policies,

- eliminating poverty traps and other disincentives to work,

- investing in developing education, vocational training, sustaining health and activating human resources through active labour market policies,

- ensuring that the modalities of the financing of social policies contribute to employment and growth while maintaining the principle of mutual support and intergenerational solidarity.

Of central importance is education; health, skills improvement, lifelong learning and the elimination of impediments to accessing the labour market. The development of human capacity is not only vital to build a knowledge-based society but is also a key element in social integration and enhancing the quality of life for all citizens. More investment in human capacity and its activation also enhances the quality and quantity of the labour force. This is essential for growth, as individual knowledge and skills raise productivity and increase a society's ability to develop and adapt to new technologies. The acceleration and spread of technological change makes it more urgent to keep the skills of all citizens up-to-date through life-long learning, thereby enhancing people's chances to cope with the challenges of global competition from increasingly knowledge-based economies.

It is equally important that this need for reform of the social systems is understood and supported by European citizens. Public campaigns by EU institutions, Member States, public authorities, should play a role in providing information and negotiating change with trade unions and civil society representatives. The European Social Model and its benefits are a perfect example for the EU citizens to see what the EU has to do with their lives. Jobs, growth, prosperity and social justice matter for EU citizens.

The EU social model for the future should be reflected in a system, which would be a synthesis of what is best in each national system, whilst leaving space for national preferences and conditions.

Role of the European Union versus Member States competences

Social and employment policies are primarily Member State competences and their responsibility in this area should not be underestimated. Nevertheless, the European Union has an important role to play in supporting national policies financially through the Structural Funds, but also through policy coordination efforts within the Lisbon process, the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs and the open methods of coordination on social protection and education. The role of national parliaments should be enhanced in the implementation of the Open Method of Coordination, as should the role of the European Parliament.

External dimension

The EU Social model have been the peace engine in the EU, and been at the same time an example to the world. In this context, the EU has to bear the task of helping new emergent countries to find a global equilibrium between economic growth and high social and environmental standards.


OPINION of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (3.5.2006)

for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

on a European social model for the future

(2005/2248(INI))

Draftswoman: Emine Bozkurt

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality calls on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

–    having regard to the conclusions of the European Council of 23 and 24 March 2006 concerning the European Pact for Gender Equality,

    having regard to the Lisbon strategy and the objective of achieving a rate of 60% participation of women in the labour market by 2010, and to its resolution of 19 January 2006 on the future of the Lisbon strategy from a gender perspective(1),

–    having regard to the Roadmap for Equality between Women and Men 2006-2010,

A.  whereas the Member States should follow the Roadmap for Equality between Women and Men 2006-2010,

B.   whereas the European social model reflects a common set of values, based on equality, social justice, solidarity, freedom and democracy, and respect for human rights,

C.  whereas 19 million people in the Europe Union are currently unemployed and whereas more than 65 million people live below the poverty line,

1.   Stresses that the principles of gender equality and combating all forms of discrimination in accordance with Article 13 of the Treaty must be systematically included in all EU policies and in the social and economic policies of the Member States, and calls for initiatives to look at these matters from an integrated perspective;

2.   Stresses that unstable working conditions and a lack of job security mean that women have very few opportunities for promotion and the development of a professional career and strongly affect their general well being and life choices as a whole;

3.   Stresses that the active, long-term involvement of women in the labour market can provide a response to the challenges arising from demographic change and globalisation and help to achieve the growth, competitiveness and social cohesion objectives laid down in Lisbon; draws attention to the fact that the enhancing of employment rights and conditions for all categories of workers, and the raising of the EU employment rate, would have a positive impact on women and on economic and social cohesion in the EU;

4.   Stresses the need for gender mainstreaming in the future European social model and its constituent parts; points out that there should be a fresh emphasis and new approaches in social policy; draws attention, therefore, to the need for effective social security systems that will ensure that action is taken against poverty and social exclusion, and the establishment of a safe, flexible and quality working environment is facilitated;

5.   Underlines the need for a reform of pensions systems to ensure more socially just, independent pension rights for all, to ensure that women and men in the home with dependent families and those on maternity and parental leave are not penalised in retirement and in order to eliminate poverty among elderly women;

6.   Stresses the need to take measures to improve the job and career prospects of women, including older women, and the social inclusion of women; draws attention to the importance of ensuring that professional and family life can be reconciled through, among other things, the provision of accessible and affordable child- and dependent-care facilities, in accordance with the conclusions of the Barcelona European Council, and that stereotypes regarding the division of family responsibilities between men and women are tackled; calls upon the Commission and Member States to take concrete actions to tackle the persisting gender gaps in vocational training, pay and employment, particularly in connection with scientific careers for women;

7.   Urges the Member States to make greater use of the opportunities afforded by the open method of coordination with a view to pooling good practice as regards jobs and career prospects for women, and points to the importance of involving the relevant social players in the drafting of gender-mainstreamed national and European policies;

8.   Calls on the Commission to ensure a follow-up to Council Recommendation 92/441/EEC(2) on a guaranteed minimum income to be provided by Member States' social protection systems within the context of an overall policy to promote the economic and social integration of those receiving that benefit;

9.   Expresses its concern at the fact that women are under-represented on bodies and structures associated with the social partners in view of the fundamental role played by the social partners in promoting equal opportunities on the labour market;

10. Calls on the Commission and Member States to strengthen the specific focus on gender equality in the future European and National employment strategies, taking into account women's situation in the labour market and the reality of women's lives;

11. Considers that equality policy is of crucial importance for economic growth, prosperity and competitiveness; welcomes, therefore, the European Council's adoption of the European Pact for Gender Equality, which aims to encourage measures at Member State and Union level to close gender gaps and combat gender stereotypes in the labour market, promote better work-life balance for all and reinforce governance through gender mainstreaming and better monitoring;

12. Urges the Member States to complete the process of fully transposing current Community anti-discrimination legislation into national law and calls on the Commission closely to monitor the implementation of the Community acquis and to carry out a study into possible new initiatives to supplement the existing legal framework on equality;

13. Notes with concern that the Barcelona Council's target of providing childcare by 2010 to at least 90% of children between 3 years old and the mandatory school age and at least 33% of children under 3 years of age is not attainable;

14. Urges the accession and candidate countries to comply with Community legislation on gender equality, to bring their policies into line with the priorities set by the Roadmap for Equality between Women and Men and to ensure respect for women's rights and improve women's access to the labour market and social security measures; refers in this regard to its resolution of 6 July 2005 on the role of women in Turkey in social, economic and political life(3);

15. Underlines the need to study and specifically address the problems faced by women from ethnic minorities and immigrant women.

PROCEDURE

Title

A European social model for the future

Procedure number

2005/2248(INI)

Committee responsible

EMPL

Opinion by
  Date announced in plenary

FEMM
19.1.2006

Enhanced cooperation – date announced in plenary

 

Drafts(wo)man
  Date appointed

Emine Bozkurt
23.11.2005

Previous drafts(wo)man

 

Discussed in committee

21.3.2006

25.4.2006

3.5.2006

 

 

Date adopted

3.5.2006

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

22

0

3

Members present for the final vote

Edit Bauer, Hiltrud Breyer, Maria Carlshamre, Edite Estrela, Ilda Figueiredo, Věra Flasarová, Lissy Gröner, Zita Gurmai, María Esther Herranz García, Lívia Járóka, Urszula Krupa, Pia Elda Locatelli, Astrid Lulling, Marie Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou, Marie-Line Reynaud, Teresa Riera Madurell, Amalia Sartori, Eva-Britt Svensson, Anna Záborská

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Katerina Batzeli, Mary Honeyball, Christa Klaß, Heide Rühle, Feleknas Uca, Marta Vincenzi

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

 

Comments (available in one language only)

...

(1)

Texts adopted of that date, P6_TA(2006)0029.

(2)

OJ L 245, 26.8.1992, p. 46.

(3)

Texts Adopted of that date, P6_TA(2005)0287.


OPINION of the Committee on International Trade (19.4.2006)

for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

on a European social model for the future

(2005/2248(INI))

Draftsperson: Giulietto Chiesa

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on International Trade calls on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.   calls on the Commission to ensure that its trade policy promotes and defends European values, as set out in Article I-3 of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, which is not yet in force, in particular a highly competitive social market economy, aiming at full employment and social progress, free and fair competition, and a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment, sustainable development, promotion of scientific and technological progress, combating social exclusion and discrimination, labour rights, and, more generally, the role of social partners, equality between women and men, protection of the rights of the child, the enhancement of public services, multifunctional agriculture and cultural diversity;

2.   welcomes globalisation and notes that it has contributed to the unparalleled economic growth of the past 30 years both in Europe and in the rest of the world; recalls also that globalisation has made possible great gains for European businesses and especially for European consumers;

3.   considers that the promotion of European values requires the Commission and the Member States to adopt a consistent line in fora such as the ILO, OECD and Multilateral Environment Agencies and for WTO and bilateral trade negotiations to support the policy objectives defended in those other fora;

4.   believes, in particular, that the work of the International Labour Organization should be more closely integrated into WTO agreements and considers that ILO assessments of core labour standards should be integrated into EU strategies towards WTO and bilateral negotiations;

5.   supports the introduction of a European globalisation adjustment fund designed to cushion the negative effects of liberalisation, assist economic adjustment, promote scientific research and development and the implementation of the Lisbon strategy; calls for a new funding initiative to promote scientific and technical research at the European level with a view to creating new, high-quality employment in Europe;

6.   points out that investment is needed in research and new technologies in order to provide lifelong learning, so as to meet the need for increased competitiveness following the effects of globalisation, with a view to creating more jobs and combating unemployment and social marginalisation;

7.   considers that developing countries need assistance in the area of good governance and the promotion of democracy, if they are to benefit from the outcome of multilateral or regional trade negotiations;

8.   stresses the importance for European goods and services of open markets, without hampering third countries’ development and taking into account their ability to manage the existing imbalance of skills and experience;

9.   welcomes the introduction of the GSP+ scheme, which provides incentives for higher social and environmental standards, and calls for this approach to be extended to bilateral trade agreements; notes the need for the Commission to closely monitor the implementation of the scheme with a view to ensuring that compliance with these standards is being achieved;

10. believes that the implementation of a trade policy based on European collective preferences and globally shared values, and an aid policy aiming to promote education, basic labour and environmental standards, and standards of transparency and good governance, will contribute to the enhancement of the political strength of the European Union in international institutions;

11. recognises that, although trade liberalisation can provide an opportunity for European citizens, they are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact on European jobs and living standards of trade liberalisation; calls on the Commission to base all trade negotiations on the sustainable development strategy as formulated by the Lisbon and Gothenburg European Councils; calls in this regard on the Commission to work towards increased transparency in trade negotiations, the timely information of the European Parliament, and to provide clear, independent analyses of the costs and benefits of proposed new trade agreements through a continuation and extension of Sustainability Impact Assessments (SIAs) monitored by the European Parliament;

12. welcomes initiatives, including product labelling, which seek to provide information to European consumers about the environmental and social working conditions in which products are produced; stresses that these initiatives should not lead to increased protectionism in the European Union; stresses that European companies should be made responsible for securing the fundamental labour rights of all workers in their production chains, including outsourced work;

13. with regard to social protection systems, calls for a study to be undertaken into the situation as regards compulsory retirement in the European Union, so as to ensure that all workers can be sure that periods spent working outside their Member State will be properly recognised;

14. considers that Parliaments have an important role to play in informing the public and conveying their concerns to trade negotiators, but that this requires the Commission to provide timely and comprehensive information during the negotiations.

PROCEDURE

Title

A European social model for the future

Procedure number

2005/2248(INI)

Committee responsible

EMPL

Opinion by
  Date announced in plenary

INTA
16.2.2006

Enhanced cooperation – date announced in plenary

No

Drafts(wo)man
  Date appointed

Giulietto Chiesa

23.11.2005

Previous drafts(wo)man

 

Discussed in committee

21.2.2006

21.3.2006

19.4.2006

 

 

Date adopted

19.4.2006

Result of final vote

+: 23

–: 0

0: 1

 

Members present for the final vote

Jean-Pierre Audy, Daniel Caspary, Françoise Castex, Giulietto Chiesa, Christofer Fjellner, Béla Glattfelder, Jacky Henin, Syed Kamall, Helmuth Markov, David Martin, Georgios Papastamkos, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Bogusław Rogalski, Robert Sturdy, Daniel Varela Suanzes-Carpegna, Zbigniew Zaleski

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Panagiotis Beglitis, Margrietus van den Berg, Danutė Budreikaitė, Elisa Ferreira, Robert Goebbels, Filip Andrzej Kaczmarek, Jörg Leichtfried, Mauro Zani

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

 

Comments (available in one language only)

...


OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (2.6.2006)

for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

on a European social model for the future

(2005/2248(INI))

Draftsman: Miloslav Ransdorf

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy calls on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.    Considers that, although a single "European Social Model" does not exist yet, the European Union is founded on humanist traditions and a common set of values, based on the preservation of peace, social justice, solidarity, freedom and democracy and respect for human rights;

2.    Considers that social standards are essential to sustainable growth, and there is a need to harmonise the high social and environmental standards within the single market;

3.    Is aware that one of the cornerstones of a European social model for the future should be the social economy or third pillar, comprising cooperatives, mutual societies, associations and foundations, which form a structural part of the model itself, given their historical role, and are a factor for development, sustainability and efficiency in the future;

4.    Recognises that a cohesive European social model is an essential precondition for deeper integration, sustainable and balanced economic growth and a better quality of life for all the inhabitants of our continent; believes that such a model, incorporating the highest international standards, will provide the flexibility that is needed to enhance Europe's global role;

5.    Recognises that the fundamental citizens' rights on which the future harmonised European social model will be based must include the right to work and to adequate free time, the right to welfare protection based on a system of allowances, pensions and benefits, and guaranteed universal access to free public services, such as healthcare and education;

6.    Reiterates that there is an urgent need to resolve the problems of unemployment, poverty and social exclusion; and therefore calls for measures to be adopted within the framework of the European Social Fund;

7.    Takes the view that falling birth rates in Europe are undermining growth prospects for European economies;

8.    Recalls the importance of the knowledge-based society and modernisation in the Lisbon Strategy, concentrating on higher value added, and increasing the employment rate;

9.    Calls on the Commission, in line with the provisions of Article 136 et seq. of the Treaty, to support the Member States in their social policy, concentrating on issues of a cross-border nature;

10.  Is seriously concerned that, in the absence of clear and significant increases in R&D and ICT, and unless legislation is put into practice, it will not be possible to achieve the objectives of the Lisbon strategy;

11.  Stresses that lowering the wage level in the EU could lead to a redistribution of income and consequently to weaker aggregate consumer demand, thus creating a negative environment for investments, production and competitiveness;

12.  Is convinced that it is essential to promote and protect individuals' access to society, especially to decent living and working conditions and to education and training, regardless of social status;

13.  Stresses that social policy does not mean casting existing rules in stone or imposing new ones from above; on the contrary, we must observe the principle that the prosperity of the present generation must not be achieved at the cost of debts to be paid by the next, and that economic, social, employment and education policy must go hand in hand with a view to the creation of new jobs;

14.  Is of the view that the benefits arising from “leisure time” – namely an enhanced human capital with diverse knowledge – should be translated into motivation for higher productivity, leading to higher wages and improved living standards;

15.  Calls on Member States to invest more in education, lifelong learning and childcare, to encourage R&D and a more efficient consumption of energy, less bureaucracy and better legislation, and to create a more favourable and dynamic business climate with more jobs, particularly in SMEs;

16.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to promote a social policy agenda aimed at: developing a society centred on inclusion and cohesion, presupposing measures in favour of stable development and respect for workers' rights; promoting a society based on gender equality and combating all forms of discrimination; achieving a distribution of wealth that is managed so as to promote the wellbeing of each individual, thus presupposing public and universal welfare systems and guaranteed universal access to high-quality public services ; pursuing a social policy that includes all groups in society; and promoting a participatory democracy seen as an integral component of the various social and employment policies;

17.  Warns that social imbalance and destabilization can endanger economic growth;

18.  Requests the development of corporate social responsibility in order to ensure companies' accountability to their stakeholders, social and environmental reporting requirements, implementation of international standards and principles, and independent verification and monitoring; recommends the use of public policy measures such as public procurement to stimulate responsible behaviour;

19.  Emphasises the necessity of social dialogue and partnership in Europe and considers that economic growth and more social justice should go hand in hand as a result of joint efforts by governments, parliaments, employers and employees;

20.  Calls for a broad debate concerning the right of all to pensions of an acceptable but affordable level, thereby keeping older citizens out of poverty and enabling them to have decent standards of living;

21.  Believes that it is the EU's role to promote environmentally and socially balanced growth, including outside Europe; stresses the importance of the EU exerting political and economic pressure on countries that fail to respect human rights, including social and labour rights;

22.  Stresses that the EU should be more active in protecting itself against social dumping by countries which have based their competitiveness-building strategy on non-compliance with fundamental human rights, including social and labour rights.

PROCEDURE

Title

A European social model for the future

Procedure number

2005/2248(INI)

Committee responsible

EMPL

Opinion by
  Date announced in plenary

ITRE
15.12.2005

Enhanced cooperation – date announced in plenary

no

Drafts(wo)man
  Date appointed

Miloslav Ransdorf
26.1.2006

Previous drafts(wo)man

 

Discussed in committee

20.2.2006

18.4.2006

30.5.2006

 

 

Date adopted

30.5.2006

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

28

18

1

Members present for the final vote

Jan Březina, Philippe Busquin, Jerzy Buzek, Joan Calabuig Rull, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Giles Chichester, Den Dover, Adam Gierek, Norbert Glante, Umberto Guidoni, András Gyürk, Fiona Hall, David Hammerstein Mintz, Rebecca Harms, Erna Hennicot-Schoepges, Ján Hudacký, Romana Jordan Cizelj, Werner Langen, Vincenzo Lavarra, Angelika Niebler, Reino Paasilinna, Umberto Pirilli, Miloslav Ransdorf, Vladimír Remek, Herbert Reul, Teresa Riera Madurell, Mechtild Rothe, Paul Rübig, Andres Tarand, Britta Thomsen, Patrizia Toia, Catherine Trautmann, Claude Turmes, Nikolaos Vakalis, Alejo Vidal-Quadras Roca

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Ivo Belet, Edit Herczog, Toine Manders, Francisca Pleguezuelos Aguilar, Vittorio Prodi, John Purvis

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Maria Badia I Cutchet, Giovanni Berlinguer, Marco Cappato, Guntars Krasts, Kathy Sinnott

Comments (available in one language only)

 


PROCEDURE

Title

A European Social Model for the future

Procedure number

2005/2248(INI)

Committee responsible
  Date authorisation announced in plenary

EMPL
15.12.2005

Committee(s) asked for opinion(s)
  Date announced in plenary

FEMM
19.1.2006

INTA
16.2.2006

ITRE
15.12.2005

 

 

Not delivering opinion(s)
  Date of decision

 

 

 

 

 

Enhanced cooperation
  Date announced in plenary

 

 

 

 

 

Co-rapporteurs
  Date appointed

José Albino Silva Peneda & Proinsias De Rossa
23.1.2006

 

Previous rapporteur(s)

 

 

Discussed in committee

21.3.2006

20.4.2006

3.5.2006

 

 

Date adopted

22.6.2006

Result of final vote

+

-

0

36

4

0

Members present for the final vote

Jan Andersson, Emine Bozkurt, Iles Braghetto, Alejandro Cercas, Ole Christensen, Luigi Cocilovo, Jean Louis Cottigny, Proinsias De Rossa, Harlem Désir, Harald Ettl, Carlo Fatuzzo, Ilda Figueiredo, Roger Helmer, Stephen Hughes, Ona Juknevičienė, Jan Jerzy Kułakowski, Sepp Kusstatscher, Jean Lambert, Raymond Langendries, Bernard Lehideux, Elizabeth Lynne, Thomas Mann, Jan Tadeusz Masiel, Ana Mato Adrover, Maria Matsouka, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, Csaba Őry, Pier Antonio Panzeri, José Albino Silva Peneda, Kathy Sinnott, Anne Van Lancker, Gabriele Zimmer

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Mihael Brejc, Françoise Castex, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Magda Kósáné Kovács, Lasse Lehtinen, Marianne Mikko, Leopold Józef Rutowicz, Patrizia Toia

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Małgorzata Handzlik

Date tabled

13.7.2006

Comments
(available in one language only)

 

An nuashonrú is déanaí: 24 Lúnasa 2006Fógra dlíthiúil