On the 4th of June, EUD participated in a live chat with the European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Mr Nicolas Schmit, on how social policy can support a sustainable and fair recovery.
The COVID19 pandemic and its containment measures, such as lockdown, have already shown its impact on the lives of many EU citizens beyond health: the economies of the different Member States have been impacted heavily, and many EU citizens have already lost their jobs, or have had to change their way of working to adapt to the current exceptional circumstances.
During the live chat, Mr Schmit responded a series of questions that were submitted to him through various social media channels. On a question about the misuse of EU funds, he explained the important role of the EU Court of Auditors in monitoring that EU funds serve their intended purpose.
On a question about budgetary programmes to support the implementation of social policies on disability and aging, Mr Schmit explained that persons with disabilities are a main priority in his cabinet. He explained that first, it is important to fight discrimination on the ground of disability by supporting the application of EU equality legislation, especially to allow equal access to the open labour market. On the other hand, he said that an emphasis needs to be put on social inclusion to create an overall environment that gives equal opportunities. He explained that at least 25% of the European Social Fund needs to be dedicated to social inclusion. Mr Schmit also explained that the European Commission has a proposal for wage transparency to fight gender inequality, as right now the gender pay gap reaches the 60%.
EUD will continue to work closely with the European Commission to ensure that deaf persons are not disproportionally affected in the area of employment in the recovery period following the COVID19 outbreak in the EU.