The social sector was hit hard with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Europe faces an anomalous health, economic, employment and social crises, all as an impact of the COVID-19. During these challenging times, the Social Platform has published an open letter calling upon the EU to create a comprehensive action plan for the European Pillar of social rights.
The European Pillar of Social Rights (the Social Pillar) is an initiative launched by the European Commission in 2017. The Social Pillar delivers new and improves existing social rights for people across Europe, and serves as the EU’s compass to achieve better working and living conditions in Europe.
The open letter not only discusses the various key factors that are necessary to improve the social sector, it also sheds light on the weakness of pre-existing institutions that bear the responsibility to keep social inequalities at bay. The idea was pushed forward, following the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council meeting on 22 February 2021. Social Platform urges the European Commission and ministries of all EU member states to articulate this Action Plan.
The open letter guides the creation of an ambitious action plan consisting of a few features. Some of them included ideas such as mainstreaming principles of equality across all policy areas, monitoring national implementation closely, establishing minimum social standards across Europe etc. It also calls for creating a post 2020 strategy that should integrate Agenda 2030 along with the UN SDGs and European Green Deal.
The letter goes on to explain how it is important to come up with an action plan and implement it properly at all levels of governance. It is imperative that the EU takes swift action regarding the social sector amidst the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure socio-economic recovery and creation of a more inclusive Europe.