The High-level Conference on The European Pillar of Social Rights concluded today with the adoption of a declaration signed by EU institutions, European social partners and civil society.

Left MEP Nikolaj Villumsen
(Denmark): “We secured important elements in the final declaration, such as action against social dumping, fair working conditions in the digital sector, and notably an opening on the question of revising the failed Public Procurement Directive. Working closely with our friends in the trade union movement, we were able to overcome resistance from employer lobbies and right-wing governments to imprint clear Left fingerprints on the final declaration. We are helping to shape the social agenda of the future.”

Left MEP Leila Chaibi (France) sharply criticises the hypocrisy of the other participants: “It’s utterly cynical to witness conservatives, liberals, and socialists convene to discuss the importance of social policies in Europe, all the while advocating for a return to austerity and arbitrary debt reduction. This approach will come at the cost of social spending, our public services, and investments in the future. It’s tantamount to orchestrating our collective economic suicide.”

Both MEPs underline the necessity for a shift in economic policies. “It is now important that promises and declarations are not just left as nice words on a document. These words must be backed by funding. Social progress cannot be achieved with failed austerity policies.”

The declaration sets the stage for the social agenda of 2024-2029, reaffirming the European Pillar of Social Rights as the guiding framework for EU social policy. Notably, the Swedish government and corporate lobby group BusinessEurope chose not to sign the declaration.

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