EC puts forward its blueprint for job-rich recovery

The goal is by 2030 at least 78% of people aged 20 to 64 to be in employment

Photo: EU Valdis Dombrovskis and Nicolas Schmit (L-R).

With its European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan adopted on Thursday, the EU executive wants to make sure that all 20 principles of the pillar will become a reality for every European.

Promoting more and better job chances, backing entrepreneurs and help them take better care of their employees, investing in high-quality and inclusive education, training, skills and innovation and focusing on improving living and working conditions for those who need them most are the main objectives of the proposed plan.

Among others essentials, the plan proposes employment, skills and social protection headline targets for the EU to be achieved by 2030. The changes created by new societal, technological and economic developments and by the socio-economic consequences of the Covid-19 crisis were took into account.

Concerning the pillar's principles, the Commission has already commenced to implement them, suggesting initiatives such as Youth Employment Support and Adequate Minimum Wages in 2020. Now, it is putting on the table also its recommendation on effective active support to employment following the Covid-19 crisis (EASE), to prop up a job-rich recovery. It provides concrete guidance to Member States on policy measures, backed by EU funding possibilities, to gradually transition between emergency measures taken to preserve jobs in the current crisis and new measures needed for a job-rich recovery. All the elements of the plan are consistent as well with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

According to Executive Vice-President for An Economy that Works for People, Valdis Dombrovskis, who presented the Action Plan together with Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, the economic recovery must be inclusive, fair and job-rich.

That is why the Commission is proposing an ambitious agenda for implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and inviting Member States to actively support employment in the recovery phase following the Covid-19 crisis, EVP Dombrovskis said. He also specified that with it the Commission wants to signal the importance of “a gradual transition from emergency to recovery policies” for the labour markets. The EU will support this through its available funding sources, including the ESF+ and the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

The European Pillar of Social Rights has been our reference point for building a strong social Europe, Commissioner Schmit, outlined noting that now the Commission breathes new life into it, turning its principles into actions.

“Creating jobs is one of our main priorities, and making sure people have the right skills for those jobs and this is the objective of EASE. We also have a collective duty to combat poverty in the EU and create an inclusive society. We all have a role to play. I look forward to a renewed commitment to social rights at the Social Summit in May,” Commissioner Schmit explained.

The plan envisages by 2030 at least 78% of people aged 20 to 64 should be in employment. Minimum 60% of all adults should participate in training every year and the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion should be reduced by at least 15 million.

The EU executive arm invites the European Council to endorse these three targets and calls on Member States to define their own national targets in this respect. The Commission will keep tabs on Member States' progress under the European Semester. 

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