On the 23rd of January 2017, EUD participated in a high level conference on the European Pillar of Social Rights, organised by the European Commission.
The pillar is an initiative by the European Commission, whose aim is to provide a reference framework to screen the employment and social performance of participating Member States and to drive social policy reforms at national level as well as, depending on the issue concerned, on a European level.
In order to identify social policy priorities at a European as well as at national levels, the accuracy of existing EU social policy legislation, new trends in work patterns and social policies as well as the structure of the proposal itself, the European Commission had opened a public consultation to which EUD, together with more than 16.000 other organisations and individuals, have contributed.
The objective of the conference was to wrap up the consultation, to get further input through working group discussions on several aspects of the pillar and to define its future direction. Various high level political experts were present as participants or speakers, including the presidents of the European Commission and the European Parliament, European Commissioners responsible for the policy areas concerned and national ministers, as well as representatives from civil society and other interested stakeholders. This demonstrates that high-level policy-makers at European as well as national levels consider improvements in social policies across the EU to be a strong priority.
EUD participated in the general conference as well as workshops on “Equal access to the labour market and skills development” and “The future of social protection” to follow the discussions and see that a disability perspective is represented in the discussions.
We will closely follow the next steps of this important initiative.