The European Pillar of Social Rights

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We have to step up the work for a fair and truly pan-European labour market. (…) As part of these efforts, I will want to develop a European Pillar of Social Rights, which takes account of the changing realities of Europe’s societies and the world of work. And which can serve as a compass for the renewed convergence within the euro area.”

Former EU President Jean Claude Junker, State of the Union Speech to European Parliament, September 2015.

On the 17th of November 2017 the European Pillar of Social Rights was agreed as a means of strengthening the living and working conditions of people in the EU. It was signed by the Presidents of the European Commission, European Parliament, European Council (representing the Governments of EU member states), and the heads of 27 EU Member states including then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

The past responses to addressing poverty and social exclusion within the EU have been inadequate, and in light of the preceding economic crisis across Europe, the aim of the Pillar was to place an emphasis on the importance of a social dimension to European policy making, to place a spotlight upon a rights based response to poverty, away from an intense or isolated focus on fiscal conditions and economic growth.

The European Pillar of Social Rights was launched as a means of working towards a more social Europe, and responding to the changing face of the European work force and labour market. The Pillar recognises the need for people within the EU to have robust social and employment rights, as well as access to essential services, supports, and adequate income.

The implementation of the Pillar will be monitored by the EU, with individual Governments bearing responsibility for implementation within each member state.

EAPN Ireland has produced an introductory video to the Pillar, “Know Your Rights: The European Pillar of Social Rights, which was funded by the Communicating Europe Initiative. The video will provide you with a brief overview of the Pillar.

EAPN Ireland has also produced a briefing note which provides a summary of the principles and rights underpinning the European Pillar of Social Rights.

You can also find out more information on the Pillar on European Commission Website, including a booklet which can be down loaded and contains a complete version of the Social Pillar.

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