At the high-level conference in Brussels that closed on Monday 23rd of January a far-ranging consultation on the Pillar, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker highlighted national minimum salaries and national minimum incomes as issues he would like to see addressed by European cooperation on the Pillar.
He confirmed that the Pillar should apply initially to the Eurozone, with other EU countries free to join.
President Juncker also announced that the European Commission would co-host an EU “Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth” together with Swedish Prime Minister Löfven in Gothenburg on 17 November 2017. The Summit will gather heads of state and government, the social partners and other key players to discuss the policy priorities set at European level and see how the European Union, the Member States and social partners at all levels can deliver on their shared economic and social priorities.
The Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, said: “I am convinced now, more than ever that the debate on social issues should be at the heart of the discussions on what kind of Union our citizens want to have. We need a competitive economy that enables quality job creation: And an economy which will also provide long-term sustainable and appropriate social protection to citizens throughout life.”
Commissioner Thyssen underlined the need for partnerships at all levels to achieve tangible results which make a different to people’s lives.
The event attracted more than 600 participants from:
- Member State authorities,
- EU institutions,
- social partners
- civil society
including more than 20 national Ministers and several Members of the College of Commissioners.
Since the initiative’s announcement by President Juncker in September 2015, there has been a wide debate with EU authorities, Member States, social partners, civil society and citizens on the content and role of the Pillar and how to ensure fairness and social justice in Europe.
These discussions bring this process to an end and will help the Commission prepare its proposal on the Pillar to be expected in March.