European Pillar of Social Rights for a more social Europe

Briefing 06-09-2016

The European Pillar of Social Rights is the European Commission's latest major initiative in the field of employment and social affairs. It is intended to serve the further 'socialisation' of the Economic and Monetary Union by strengthening its employment and social aspects, as stated in the Five Presidents' Report on 'Completing Europe's Economic and Monetary Union' from June 2015. In March 2016, the Commission published a preliminary outline of the Pillar, which is now undergoing broad consultation. In its final form, the Pillar could help not only the euro-area countries but also the other EU Member States achieve upward convergence of their social and employment performance. The outline released by the Commission for the consultation contains principles for equal opportunities and access to the labour market, for fair working conditions and for adequate and sustainable social protection that could become a European reference framework for monitoring and benchmarking. They are based on the EU’s social acquis. The Pillar could become a binding instrument, but its final content and implementation are still open for discussion.