Social Europe : Social Platform Sets Nine Tests for the German Presidency

Article excerpt

NGOs in the social sector are counting on the German EU Presidency to prepare the ground for social security reforms which will ensure that 'economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability and social justice are mutually supportive'. The social platform has therefore set nine tests 'for an inclusive policy approach making sure that nobody is left behind'.

"To tackle globalisation and demographic change, the big challenges of today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has to convince her colleagues that Europe needs better social policies, not less social policy, that the EU's jobs and growth' strategy needs to be rebalanced by a strong emphasis on social cohesion and social inclusion," said Anne-Sophie Parent, President of the Social Platform.

"The Presidency should ensure that the debate on labour law helps to find solutions on how the law could evolve to protect individuals in new forms of employment and to fight all forms of discrimination as well as to develop better quality and more productive jobs,' she added.

Social NGOs are convinced that the debate should be broadened to take into account other facets of flexicurity' such as the need for solid social infrastructures, wide public support, care services, support for families, supportive activation policies, minimum income and investment in lifelong learning. "Indeed, there is an urgent need to address demographic challenges and the issue of care for all dependent persons in a way that contributes to strengthening a social Europe based on equality and solidarity and that support a better conciliation of work and private life. …