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Background and Objectives


Raising awareness on the EU pillar of social rights

In the 2016 work programme, the European Commission has launched a proposal to develop a pillar of social rights. The European Commission has explained that this initiative aims to update and address gaps in existing labour legislation and identify common principles and reference benchmarks with a view to greater convergence of employment and social performance in the EU. The Pillar will identify a number of essential principles common to euro area Member States, focusing on their needs and challenges in the field of employment and social policies.

The preliminary outline of the European Pillar of Social Rights is divided into three main categories in the field of employment and social policies. Each of these headings contains a number of policy domains, to which different principles are attached. The three categories are: Equal opportunities and access to the labour market; Fair working conditions (needed to establish an adequate and reliable balance of rights and obligations between workers and employers); And adequate and sustainable social protection.

The Commission has launched a consultation process and it is currently engaged in a debate with EU authorities, social partners, civil society and citizens on the content and role of the Pillar to move towards a deeper and fairer Economic and Monetary Union. The aim of the consultation is to make an assessment of the present EU social "acquis" and to reflect on new trends in work patterns and societies. The outcome of this debate should feed into a final text of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The main aim of this initiative is that the Pillar builds on, and complements the existing EU social "acquis" in order to guide policies in a number of fields essential for achieving an efficient and fair labour market and welfare systems.

Project deliveries

The action EUSOCP will include issuing a periodical newsletter with comments on EU legislation and case law. This platform will serve to raise awareness among students, academics, and legal practitioners over the evolution of the initiative of the European Commission to enhance labour and social protection and set forth an EU pillar of social rights. The main aim of this project is to organise two international event, a seminar and a summer courses for promoting knowledge on current EU labour law and social policy developments at the University Carlos III of Madrid and at the University of Amsterdam.

In the final phase of the project, the research team will summarise the conclusions of the research, raising awareness, and knowledge sharing-training activities in a final paper with an overview of the main findings regarding the establishment of the EU social pillar.

Project aims

This proposal for a Jean Monnet project has as objectives to contribute to promoting European Union socio-legal studies at educational level and to enhance the knowledge for the academic community, legal practitioners and the civil society as a whole on the new European initiative to develop and implement a pillar of social rights.