National parliaments and European institutions should work together in order to achieve results in the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. This is what the President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Luca Jahier stated in front of the participants in LIX Plenary COSAC in Sofia. The forum was the closing event of the Parliamentary Dimension of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of EU.
“Together we can achieve results in the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights in favor of our citizens”, underlined Luca Jahier. “Some of the European Commission’s proposals can be changed, of course. If they are simply blocked or endlessly postponed, this would lead to lack of action which is not an option” he clarified. According to the President of EESC “If no actions are to be taken, citizens will focus their discontent to the ones in power and will not make a distinction between EU, national government or national parliament”.
“EU member states should play a key role in turning the European Pillar of Social Rights into reality” stated Mr Jahier. “Currently it should be invested in states with low income, and in states with declining income” he pointed out.
“The European Pillar of Social Rights should become a positive force for Europe and its citizens, and should take into consideration the imbalance between social and economic policies in EU”, underlined the President of the European Economic and Social Committee. “This is the political response to poverty and social exclusion, which cannot be trusted without adequate financial support and legislative actions” he stated and added that the European Semester should be the key element for managing and implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights.
„I welcome the Contribution of the LIX Plenary COSAC. I believe this is the right direction and we will support it” highlighted Luca Jahier. “This Contribution is a strong response to Europe's challenges related to progress, growth and cohesion”, he added.
The Director of Policy Coordination in the Secretariat General of the European Commission, Marcel Haag, stated that the European Pillar of Social Rights had been proclaimed in a situation of constant technological and economic changes. “The European Pillar of Social Rights is about taking the opportunity to put social issues at the very heart of the European agenda and supporting unity between member states” he stated.
“National parliaments have very important role in fulfilling the tasks of this Pillar” emphasized Marcel Haag. “We speak of it as a shared commitment, which means that it is essential to realize at EU level” he stressed.
“The European Commission uses all the tools in its disposal in order to work on this Pillar” stated Mr Haag. He specified that the national parliaments and governments, as well as the European institutions should unite their efforts for the successful implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.
The Chairman of the European Affairs Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Dr. Ľuboš Blaha also took part as a keynote speaker in the session dedicated to the European Pillar of Social Rights. He thanked the Bulgarian Presidency for raising the issue of strong and social Europe, because of its importance for the future of the Union. “Social rights in EU are very important for the survival of the European unity and social peace”, noted Ľuboš Blaha.
“European Social Pillar can’t survive if there are major social inequalities” he underlined and called for a return to the roots of European integration. “I think that this Pillar is one of the main initiatives of Junker’s Commission and I hope it will reveal the social face of EU” he added.
“We expect the European institutions to fulfill the tasks of the Pillar through funds for social cohesion and other structural funds” Lubos Blaha pointed out. According to him, the main question was who would receive most social support from the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. “The answer is – people in the least developed regions, because it is in the core of the social policy to help those who are in most disadvantaged situation“ stated the Chairman of the European Affairs Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic.