Social Pillar

European Pillar of Social Rights

On the 8 March 2016 the European Commission published the communication on the European Pillar of Social Rights (Social Pillar).

The stated aim of the Social Pillar is to strengthen the social dimension of the European Economic and Monetary Union. The current draft of the Social Pillar is addressed to all countries part of the Euro zone and aims at coordinating their social and employment policies. All the countries outside the Euro zone could adopt the Social Pillar on a voluntary basis.

The first draft of the Social Pillar refers explicitly to disability and includes relevant references to the Charter of Fundamental Rights. However it is still unclear what initiatives the Social Pillar will include in terms of legislation, funding or other policies. The aim declared by the European Commission is to increase the social dimension of the European monetary union, to promote decent employment and social protection. The European Commission launched a public consultation on the Social Pillar which was open until the end of 2016. EDF answered it in close cooperation with all of its members bringing calling to mainstreaming disability into the EU social policies.

The European Parliament was asked to issue a resolution on the Social Pillar, which was adopted in January 2017. The document draws from the first draft of the Social Pillar and includes recommendations, in particular to mainstream the rights of persons with disabilities throughout the Social Pillar with a human rights-based approach in line with the EU’s and its Member States’ obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

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