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The EU Introduces the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan

The European Union (EU) has implemented a plan to tackle its most prominent social issues by the year 2030. In 2021, the EU created the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, a plan that targets social inequality on the continent. The plan includes various principles and goals that the EU hopes to achieve by the year 2030. For the plan to succeed, leaders all across will need to take responsibility and cooperate to improve social conditions on the continent.

20 Key Principles

The European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan targets 20 key principles that it highlights in three chapters. The first chapter focuses on making jobs more accessible to more people in Europe. It includes principles like gender equality and equal opportunities. Meanwhile, chapter two is about working conditions to ensure that conditions are fair for Europe’s employees to create a healthy, secure and productive work environment. This chapter identifies principles such as wages and work-life balance.

The final chapter is the longest of the three as it contains 10 of the 20 principles. It prioritizes inclusion for all citizens regardless of age, gender, economic status and more. A few of the principles that comprise chapter 3 are health care, social protection and minimum income.

Ambitious Goals

In addition to the 20 key principles, the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan also includes three “ambitious targets” for the EU to reach by 2030. The first of these goals is to have at least 78% of the population between the ages of 20 to 64 employed. In 2020, Europe had an employment rate of 72.4%. To reach that 78% mark, Europe would have to raise its employment rate by 0.56% each year of the decade.

The second target is to have at least 60% of adults participating in training. This includes educational learning and job training. According to the European Commission, 37% of adults were in training in 2016. If the EU intends to achieve its goal, this number will have to nearly double by 2030.

The third and final goal is to have a reduction of at least 15 million people that are at risk of poverty or exclusion. In 2019, there were 91 million people that were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. If the EU can achieve this goal, it would make for a 16.5% decrease in this area.

The Timeline

 As mentioned before, the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan sets goals for the year 2030; and, it also sets out smaller objectives to reach each year before then. Currently, the plan lists specified goals up until the year 2025. More goals for the following years will likely be added as the decade progresses.

For 2021 and 2022, there are many objectives that the EU hopes to reach. For example, 2021’s list of goals includes a plan of action for the “social economy,” an “employment report” and a “skills and talent package.” In 2022, the EU is looking to propose various work-related initiatives as well as achieve other goals.

The next three years only contain one or two goals each. The first report on “essential services” and the European Social Security Pass (ESSPASS) will be complete in 2023. The year 2024 will evaluate the European Labor Authority and 2025 will review the Action Plan as a whole.

Steps That the EU Has Already Taken

So far, the EU has already made significant progress toward reaching its goals. Some goals reached completion before the EU created its Action Plan. For example, in 2020, the EU had already implemented multiple social equality strategies and a “skills agenda.”

In addition to these, other initiatives have emerged to help the EU with the action plan. In 2021, the European Commission started the first stage of its consultation of social partners to improve working conditions across the continent.

The year 2021 also saw Europe make strides toward improving equality. The Commission created a strategy regarding the rights of people with disabilities. This strategy works toward the goal of making sure that none of Europe’s population experiences exclusion from society. As Europe goes further into the decade, it can expect to see many progressive movements and changes that will surely improve the continent’s state of social equality.

– Tyshon Johnson
Photo: Flickr