EAPN Contributing to the Establishment of a European Pillar of Social Rights

European Anti-Poverty Network’s (EAPN) Acting Director, Fintan Farrell, addressed the need for a European Union (EU) project that promotes equality between and within the EU Member States, during the European Commission’s structured dialogue session titled “Future of Work and Welfare Systems & European Pillar of Social Rights”. Farrell’s perspective on the Pillar of Social Rights can be seen in this video.

This was the second meeting to engage civil society actors to provide input into the European Pillar of Social Rights which was proposed by the European Commission in March 2016. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had announced the initiative in September 2015 with the goal of ensuring upward social convergence between EU Member States. The outcomes of these dialogues and an upcoming public consultation are intended to feed into the final text for the Pillar of Social Rights.

Commitments in the Pillar come under three headings: equal opportunities and access to the labor market, fair working conditions and adequate and sustainable social protection. In June 2016, EAPN held its member conference in order to gather input for European Commission’s consultations on the Pillar, as well as to reflect on the Pillar’s potential for in the fight against poverty and social exclusion.

Currently the EU’s treaty consists of three pillars: European Communities, Common Foreign and Security Policy, and Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters. The new Pillar of Social Rights could potentially provide a new means of ensuring fair labor market practices and strong welfare systems within EU Member States. The inputs and perspectives of EAPN and its members are vital to ensuring that the Pillar does, in fact, achieve these goals and responds to the real issues faced by many in Europe.



The meeting minutes from the structured dialogue on work and welfare systems can be found here

The preliminary outline for the Pillar of Social Rights can be found here.

There is also a public consultation concerning the European Pillar of Social Rights that will run until the end of 2016. Participate in the public consultation here!