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1 May: Schmit (EU Commission), commitment to preserve jobs and confidence that “Europe will emerge stronger from this crisis”

“Take pause to think about the millions of people who have seen their lives and livelihoods disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis”. European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, made this appeal in a statement ahead of the celebration of International Workers’ Day on 1 May. Although governments have so far managed to preserve jobs and contain a surge in unemployment supported through the EU’s SURE instrument, “many workers, and especially the young generation, have seen their career prospects put at risk”. For the Commissioner, there is “reason for hope” that “Europe will emerge stronger from this crisis”. Solidarity must be the distinctive feature of the recovery and our ambition, as was presented in the “European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan”, for a “strong social Europe that is inclusive and fair”. The Action Plan has a 2030 horizon, but “our work has already started”. Not just to keep people in jobs throughout the COVID-19 crisis, but also to support the transition into new jobs and promising sectors, including the green and digital ones. “We encourage Member States to invest in young people”, the Commissioner said, and to promote quality jobs, gender equality, and “a healthy work-life balance”.

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