2017 Position on the European Pillar of Social Rights

The European Pillar of Social Rights aims at re-establishing the connection between the EU and its citizens and is a reaction to the challenges the EU has been facing. Ceemet is unconvinced that this is the right answer to what is actual needed: an increased international competitiveness that ensures more jobs, growth and prosperity within the EU.

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Ceemet key messages

  • Ceemet regrets that the European Commission has presented its Recommendation on the European Pillar of Social Rights, as well as its proposal for an Interinstitutional Proclamation shortly after the start of the debate on the future of Europe, without awaiting the outcome of this debate. Ceemet also regrets the patchwork of publications and initiatives published by the European Commission following the presentation of the White Paper on the Future of Europe. Europe’s economic and social challenges are interlinked. Therefore, a more integrated approach to the debate is crucial.
  • The focus should be on improving Europe’s competitiveness: the EU already merits a social AAA rating in a global context, but lacks behind on competitiveness. To maintain Europe’s current social standards, a solid competitive industry is pivotal. Therefore, the EU should continue to focus on increasing competitiveness, ensuring growth and job creation. Ceemet believes that the European Pillar of Social Rights will have an adverse effect on competitiveness and job growth by increasing labour costs and creating disproportionate burdens for employers.
  • The European Commission has to respect the EU’s competences in the field of social policy. The principle of subsidiarity is essential to ensure that social policy can reflect the diverse needs of national labour markets, businesses and workers. Also, the autonomy of social partners and the role of social dialogue should not be devaluated.

Note: Ceemet responded to the public consultation on a European Pillar of Social Rights, launched on 8 March 2016. The present position is an update of Ceemet’s response, as submitted on 2 December 2016.

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