Less than two weeks after the Social Summit, which took place on 17 November in Gothenburg, European Commission President Juncker and Swedish Prime Minister Löfven take stock of its outcome. The concluding report published today will serve to frame the follow-up of the Summit, which starts with the December European Council.
At the Summit, participants reaffirmed their joint responsibility to tackle the challenges our labour markets face at all levels. The European Pillar of Social Rights was proclaimed at the Summit by the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission as an embodiment of this joint commitment.
In the spirit of the Pillar, the participants at the Summit agreed that the need to promote convergence of our economies and societies should be met by efforts at all levels, including by the social partners. Further steps should be taken to:
- improve access to labour markets to increase the number of men and women in employment,.
- ensure fair employment and working conditions and.
- support transitions between jobs by investing in people, while taking account of the diversity of social traditions across Europe.
More specifically, the Summit recalled the need to put people first through joint efforts at all levels, and to further develop the social dimension of the Union based on a shared commitment and established competences. As a first next step, the following should be taken forward:
- implementing the principles and rights set out in the European Pillar of Social Rights, notably through the European Semester of Policy Coordination and in the Member States' 2018 National Reform Programmes;.
- facilitating a well-functioning social dialogue at all levels, including the ‘new start for social dialogue' at EU level;.
- progressing swiftly on pending social files at EU level, including on Posting of Workers, Social Security Coordination, Work–Life Balance and the European Accessibility Act, as well as being ready to swiftly examine the future initiatives announced by the Commission in its Work Programme for 2018;.
- following up on the priorities of the EU Action Plan 2018–2019 to tackle the gender pay gap; and .
- delivering further on the New Skills Agenda, with a particular focus in 2018 on implementing the Council Recommendation on Upskilling Pathways, intended for people with the biggest skills needs.
In December, the European Council will follow up the Gothenburg Summit, addressing the social dimension in the discussion on the future of Europe. As co-host of the Social Summit, the European Commission will continue to play its part in these discussions. The European Semester of Policy Coordination should be the main framework for taking the discussions on the social dimension forward.