Social Europe network: credibility of EU is at stake

This was the conclusion of the PES Social Europe Network, which met in Brussels today.

Representatives of PES member parties, social partners and MEPs discussed minimum wages and wage convergence in the EU, the European Pillar of Social Rights, new forms of employment and social protection in the digital economy, and the revision of the posted workers directive.

The discussion on minimum wages and wage convergence in EU Member States allowed for a rich exchange with trade unions and civil society representatives.

Pervenche Berès, chairwoman of the PES Social Europe Network, said:

"In view of the 60th Anniversary of the Rome Treaty in March, both the credibility of our political family and the future of the EU as a whole are at stake.

"We want all European, women and men to have decent jobs that allow a good quality of life. So we will fight for minimum wages across Europe to fight in-work poverty and wage dumping, while respecting each country’s autonomy in regards to different wage systems such as collective bargaining and a legal minimum wage."

An important part of the discussion was also dedicated to the European Pillar of Social Rights, particularly focusing on the recently adopted report in the European Parliament.

The report, by S&D MEP Maria João Rodrigues, calls strongly for social protection for all types of work, including in the digital economy, and stresses the need for economic and social convergence, including through social investment.

Mrs Berès said:

"We have to ensure that the Pillar of Social Rights functions as a 'social pact', striking a new balance between economic and social priorities. We must strengthen existing rights, work to add a Social Progress Protocol to the European treaties, and extend social protection to new forms of employment in the digital economy."

The meeting also included an update on the PES Youth Plan. The next Youth Action Day will take place on 9 February, confirming youth as a PES priority.