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EU Commission: presentation of EU’s “pillar of social rights”. Employment, welfare, inclusion

(Brussels) Today, the European Commission presented a draft “European pillar of social rights”. The pillar lays down 20 principles and fundamental rights to “support – as explained by the EU Executive – the smooth operation and fairness of the employment markets and welfare systems. It has been designed to act as a compass for a new convergence to better living and working conditions in Europe”. The pillar has mainly been designed for the euro-zone but it can apply to all the EU member states that want to join it. The president of the EU Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, stated: “As president, I tried to attach social priorities the importance they deserve in Europe. With the European pillar of social rights and the first set of measures that go with it, we are keeping our promises and opening a new chapter. We want to write these pages together: the member states, the EU institutions, the trade unions, and society”. The principles and rights laid down by the pillar are split into three groups: equal opportunities and access to the employment market, fair working conditions, and welfare and social inclusion. They “raise awareness of how to cope with the new developments in the employment world and in society, to keep the promise made by the treaties about a very competitive social market economy that pursues full employment and social progress”.

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