Social and employment policies in Europe

Briefing 10-09-2020

Whilst the disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis has affected all segments of society, some groups and geographic areas have been impacted more seriously than others. The crisis has opened up the opportunity to rethink how and what could be done differently and more efficiently over the longer term in the social and employment field at European level, including the possibility of putting social and economic considerations and rights on a more equal footing within the Union's governance framework. Focusing on the European Green Deal as the new growth strategy and strengthening the single market, of which social inclusion and fairness are an organic part, can help to tackle the root causes of the trends highlighted ever more strongly by the coronavirus triple crisis: health, economic and environmental. Some measures might imply changes to the Treaty base of the Union, but many can already be carried out within the current legal framework, where the European Union (EU) can function as a 'holding space' for experimentation and reform and pave the way to a truly resilient, sustainable and fair system. Such a system would then not only be able to absorb shocks but also to grow from them.