#SocialSummit17, an opportunity to build more inclusive societies?
In recent decades, the European labour market has experienced profound transformations as a result of factors such as the digital revolution, globalization and changes in the demographic patterns. This change also happened because of the effects of the economic crisis, which has left a deep mark on long-term unemployment, debt levels and, in general, an increase in social inequalities.
The promise of a prosperous Europe, that leaves no one behind, and in which each generation is better than the previous one, seems difficult to achieve. This is why the president of the Commission has proposed to build a “Social Triple A”. Since 2016, they have been working on the European Pillar of Social Rights; which measures the European Social Model in three dimensions:
- Equality of opportunities and access to the labour market
- Fair working conditions
- Protection and social inclusion
This way, an instrumentation and obligation is given to European institutions that, during the last decade have increasingly been perceived as mere guardians of the economic and monetary policies.
In this scenario, the Swedish Presidency and the European Commission will host, on November 17, the Social Summit for Fair Employment and Growth, in which European leaders and other key actors will discuss the common opportunities and challenges of the labour markets, and current welfare models.
Starting from the premise that “there is no single approach for all Europe, but there are common challenges and a common need to act”, they will work on such fundamental issues as equal opportunities, (in curricular development, training, working conditions…) labour mobility, innovation, social dialogue or social protection systems.
The objective is to approve and publicise the European Pillar of Social Rights as a basis for a common European Social Model, so it is essential that, during the Summit, concrete agreements are adopted and the foundations are laid, for a more social and egalitarian Europe. The guideline of framing social protection in a joint approach with employment policies prevails.
Even so, it is possible that this framework, which comes with goals and indicators, has more traction than the European Social Charter of the Council of Europe or the Sustainable Development Goals.
In any case, and whatever the agreements finally adopted will be, it will be necessary for the different social actors to seek progress and better formulas to produce more significant impacts in areas such as equality, social inclusion or employment. From our strategic advisory area, we have been working together with public institutions and private entities on initiatives of very different natures that try to advance in this regard:
- We carry out projects through which we analyse and evaluate the impact of the programmes, policies and strategies we develop
- We provide technical assistance to the development of projects that seek to provide better services to people through the testing of new forms and coordination systems: for this, it is essential to design strategies through more participatory and inclusive formulas or to find new forms of public-private partnership.
- We advise and accompany the design and development of methodologies and innovative formulas to face the problems experimentally and differently.
Throughout this week, you can follow the Summit and participate in the conversation in order to press for the attainment of minimum agreements. To have a better Europe for all, we need a labour market in which people have the same opportunities, in which, mobility, equality and non-discrimination are a guaranteed right, which gives better responses to social and family needs.
But above all, beyond the labour market, it is about being able to guarantee social minimums in housing, minimum income, care for minors and the elderly, and access to essential and health services. There is no doubt that this Summit affects all of us.