Contribution to the public consultation on the European Pillar of Social Rights
The European Pillar of Social Rights sets out a number of key principles and rights to support fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems, giving CSOs and national level stakeholders an opportunity to push for higher standards of social rights across Europe.
The Social Package encompasses existing legislation and policy frameworks, as well as new initiatives. The Pillar outlines 20 principles structured around three main categories:
- equal opportunities and access to labour market
- fair working conditions and
- social protection and inclusion.
In addition to proposing the European Pillar of Social Rights, the Commission has put forward a number of legislative and non-legislative initiatives related to work-life balance (e.g. minimum standards for parental, paternity and carer's leave), the information of workers, access to social protection and working time.
Social Services Europe recommendations regarding integrated social benefits and services include:
- Integrated service provision often requires a change of culture amongst service providers and their staff, and therefore significant investment in (re)training and education will be required.
- All vulnerable target groups should be covered by EU policies related to the promotion of integrated service provision. Ex-prisoners, people with mental health problems or homeless people are overlooked by EU policy makers and could benefit hugely from a more integrated and ambitious social support framework.
- Access to housing is a key element of integrated service provision, but too often overlooked/ignored in EU/national policies.The importance of housing has only increased in a context of growing emphasis on care in the community and deinstitutionalisation.
For the complete list of recommendations, consult the Social Services Europe statement.
The European Pillar of Social Rights is planned to be proclaimed jointly by the European Parliament and the Council during the Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth taking place 17 November 2017 in Gothenburg.
For the latest developments, consult the dedicated European Pillar of Social Rights website.
Social Services Europe is a network made up of Caritas Europe, the European Council for non-profit organisations (CEDAG), the European Association of Service providers for People with Disabilities (EASPD), the European Platform for Rehabilitation (EPR), Eurodiaconia, the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA), Solidar, and the Red Cross EU Office. It aims to strengthen the profile and position of social services, and promote the role of not-for-profit social service providers in Europe.