European Pillar of Social Rights

The European Pillar of Social Rights is a tool of the European Union (primarily conceived for the euro area but applicable to all EU Member States wishing to be part of it) to support fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems. It builds upon 20 key principles, structured around three categories:

  • Equal opportunities and access to the labour market
  • Fair working conditions
  • Social protection and inclusion

Delivering on the principles and rights defined in the European Pillar of Social Rights is a joint responsibility of Member States, EU institutions social partners and other stakeholders.

Since President Juncker announced the European Pillar of Social Rights, there has been a wide debate with EU authorities on the content and role of the Pillar and how to ensure fairness and social justice in Europe. On 8 March 2016, the Commission presented a first outline of the Pillar of Social Rights and launched a public consultation. The Commission received more than 16,500 online replies and nearly 200 position papers. The consultation culminated in a concluding Conference "Going Forward Together” in January 2017, counting more than 600 participants. The final outline of the European Pillar of Social Rights was presented by the Commission on April 2017 and the Member States received it on November 2017.

This project is implemented with the financial support of the Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, which is funding the activities that go beyond the Principle 8 of the Pillar: Social dialogue and involvement of workers

Following this key element:

  • Social partners shall be consulted on the design and implementation of economic, employment and social policies according to national practices. They shall be encouraged to negotiate and conclude collective agreements in matters relevant to them, while respecting their autonomy and the right to collective action. Where appropriate, agreements concluded between the social partners shall be implemented at the level of the Union and its Member States.
  • Workers or their representatives have the right to be informed and consulted in good time on matters relevant to them, in particular on the transfer, restructuring and merger of undertakings and on collective redundancies.
  • Support for increased capacity of social partners to promote social dialogue shall be encouraged.