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European Pillar of Social Rights, Source: Social Platform

An Action Plan for the European Pillar of Social Rights

An Action Plan for the European Pillar of Social Rights

The European Committee of the Regions expressed its concerns regarding new Action Plan for the European Pillar of Social Rights

An Action Plan for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights was introduced yesterday by the European Commission. The objective of the document is to set out key principles for fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems. The European Committee of the Regions has stated the importance of including regional-level authorities in order to achieve the objectives of the plan.

Three main objectives

The Action Plan sets out three targets that will help policy decisions in the Member States and their regions to perform the goals of the Pillar. The aim is by 2030 to implement the following:

  • at least 78% of the EU population between the ages of 20 to 64 should be in employment;
  • at least 60% of all adults should participate in training every year;
  • reduce the risk of poverty or social exclusion for at least 15 million people.

The Effective Active Support to Employment (EASE), which aims to lead the transition from emergency measures to sustainable, future-proof jobs, was also presented yesterday by the Commission.

Concerns about the regional implementation

CoR expressed its concerns regarding the regional implementation of the targets. Some of them are that these new measures will only help progress at the national level but will marginalize regional development. This was also indicated in the first CoR Regional Social Scoreboard in 2019, which showed differences between the Member States at the regional level.

Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), stated: "The COVID health emergency is becoming a social emergency. We must use all available tools to safeguard jobs, fight poverty and protect the most vulnerable. The Action Plan sets ambitious targets that we can reach only by working together at all levels of governance – European, national and local – and by making full use of different EU funds to unlock social investment. We are ready to be key partners in implementing the Action Plan to ensure it answers our people's needs and provides a fair and inclusive recovery."

The CoR strongly considers it necessary to introduce regional monitoring to ensure that the Social Pillar is carried out at all levels and that regional investments are directed towards implementing the principles of the Pillar.

The CoR is expected to give an opinion on the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights from a local and regional perspective.

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