Following the celebration of International Workers’ Day, Commissioner Thyssen took stock of the progress made by the EU to improve workers’ rights. As part of the work to deliver the European Pillar of Social Rights, the commissioner celebrated the adoption of new rules on work-life balance and the adoption of the European Disability Act. Find her statement below.
"Tomorrow we celebrate again International Workers' Day, also known as Labour Day. This year, it is a particularly appropriate moment to look back but also forward to the future.
Over the last twelve months, building on proposals from the European Commission, the EU has made big progress to improve workers' rights. With new rules on transparent and predicable working conditions we have increased protection for the most vulnerable workers in the new world of work, especially those working on atypical employment contracts. We took steps to ensure that all working people are sufficiently covered by social security schemes and protected against economic uncertainty, regardless of their employment status. New EU rules on work-life balance will help working parents and carers to combine their family lives and their professional careers based on equal opportunities for men and women. The new European Labour Authority will support fair labour mobility within the EU both for cross-border workers and companies. The EU increased protection against a range of cancer-causing chemicals at the workplace. And more than 80 million persons with disabilities will get easier access to key products and services such as phones, computers, e-books and e-commerce thanks to the European Accessibility Act.*
All of these initiatives are part of our ongoing work to deliver on the European Pillar of Social Rights. The Pillar is our compass for today and tomorrow: it will continue guiding decision makers in the future towards better and fairer rules, so that Europe can tackle the social challenges of the 21st century.
The European Pillar of Social Rights continuously reminds us that we have to work together to build the Social Europe we want: EU institutions, Member States and social partners - each one of us within our own competences and with our own tools. Next week, Europe's leaders will meet in Sibiu to discuss the future of Europe. I am convinced that Social Europe will remain a top priority in the future so that everybody can build further on what we have achieved so far for the benefit of all.”