Construction workers
20 November 2017

European Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth: enhance convergence between countries

During the European Social Summit in Gothenburg, which took place on 17 November, France urged Europe to do in social terms what it has managed to do in economic and monetary terms.
 
The agreement reached on 23 October, following France's initiative, on the revision of the Posted Workers Directive sent out an important message. Since then, France has signed 8 bilateral agreements, not least with Poland and Romania, to step up inspections aimed at clamping down on illegal posting of workers. The aim at present is to work towards the setup, in 2018, of a European Authority to enable these inspections to be strengthened.
 
Portrait of Nathalie Loiseau
“Social policy in Europe has long been overlooked in the European project. (…) France would like to go further in the social convergence between EU countries”
Nathalie Loiseau
Minister for European Affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs

The signature in Gothenburg of the "European Pillar of Social Rights" marks a second step in the right direction. But Europe needs to go further by defining a social convergence process spanning the next ten years, as has been done in the past on monetary and economic subjects. It must, for example, establish a minimum wage, the level and growth of which would keep pace with the economic reality of each country.
 
France is also advocating for this social convergence to be taken on board in the way European funding is distributed, so as to prevent beneficiary countries from using it to implement uncooperative strategies: "we can no longer afford to allow business models of tax or social dumping to develop using European funds," the President of the Republic maintained.
 
The other challenge, with just as much social as economic implications, facing Europe is that of overhauling skills. In a decade's time, 1 in 2 professions will have changed dramatically. As highlighted by Emmanuel Macron, there are 15 million early school leavers in Europe, and 70 million Europeans do not have the basic skills for finding a job. Considerable public investment in human capital and training is required if we are to combat unemployment. And France is doing just that, with its apprenticeship and vocational training reform and Skills Investment Plan worth €15bn. This must also become a priority for Europe, for example through the Juncker plan, European Social Fund, European Globalisation Adjustment Fund or better financed Erasmus for Apprentices.


Posted workers: an ambitious agreement reached

The European ministers of Labour and of Social Affairs met in Luxembourg on 23 October, and agreed on a revision of the directive ... [Read more]
24 October 2017