02 November, 2017
Resolution on social Europe - strengthening fair, prosperous and equal societies in Europe
Adopted by the UEF Federal Committee, 22 October 2017, Paris

The UEF Federal Committee, meeting in Paris on 22 October 2017,

Recognising that economic and social progress, the improvement of EU citizens’ lives, reducing inequalities among different regions, all through means of mutual solidarity have been among the main principles on which EU integration has been based ever since;

Welcoming the current EU Commission White Paper process on the Future of Europe, including the Reflection Paper on the Social Dimension of Europe and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s recent State of the Union Address 2017;

Noting with much concern that, however, unemployment rates especially among the youth continue to be alarmingly high in several member states, and working conditions and social standards vary considerably across the Union, including a rise in precarious jobs and widening inequalities;

Alarmed about prevalent anti-EU and anti-immigrant populism and extremism among citizens reflected not least in several recent national elections;

Deeply worried about the growing lack of member-state enforcement of EU law despite clear EU-level legal agreements and infringement procedures by the European Court of Justice;

Highlighting that a truly united, progressive and ambitious Union will be needed to combat social inequalities as well as EU citizens’ fears of being left behind in a fast-moving globalised and increasingly digital world;

Recalling several previous UEF resolutions on EU free movement and EU citizens’ social rights, as well as on further European integration;

Urges member states to take current societal challenges seriously by pooling their efforts both domestically and on a European scale to fight social inequalities;

Calls for enhanced equal opportunities, fair working conditions, comprehensive social protection and inclusion for EU citizens, including but not limited to life-long learning opportunities, appropriate measures to facilitate labour market access, decent wages and social protection standards;

Suggests extended mutual learning activities among member states in the process of installing appropriate policy responses to pressing common challenges such as ageing societies, globalisation as well as digitalisation and automatisation;

Recommends an improved and closer co-ordination as well as pertinent expansion of EU resources such as structural and investment funds or extended Erasmus+ in order to better target EU citizens’ abilities to cope with aforementioned challenges in a fast-changing world;

Proposes an EU-level reflection on ambitious while well-targeted novel policy instruments such as a single European Social Security Number, macro-economic stabilisers such as basic and clearly confined EU-level social security schemes, a Child Guarantee to support early life chances and training, a common European Disability Card, as well as a European Labour Inspectorate to support law enforcement in cross-border situations;

Invites UEF sections to play an active role, in co-operation together with JEF, in shaping the future of the European Social Dimension by voicing their concerns and ideas towards domestic and European politics and governments, by informing the general public about their social rights in the EU, and by extending their relevant networks such as with social partners.

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