Opinion Factsheet  

Una Europa social fuerte para unas transiciones justas

Opinion Number: CDR 2167/2020
Rapporteur: KARJALAINEN Anne
Commission: SEDEC
Status: Adopted
Date: 14/10/2020
Too soon to assess the impact

- underlines the importance of a strong European social agenda, in which competitiveness and social justice complement each other. There is a close link between the social agenda, the Green Deal, and the digital agenda, given that the green and digital transitions must be based on social justice, equality and environmental sustainability;

- stresses that the COVID-19 pandemic must not be used as a pretext for postponing or withdrawing the proposals to improve social justice referred to in the European Commission's communication;

- points out that public services provided by local and regional authorities have played a key role during the pandemic. A fair transition means recognising the key role of the local and regional level in delivering high-quality public services. The provision of such services by local and regional authorities must not be restricted by rules under public procurement or state aid law;

- observes that labour market changes mean there are an increasing number of people at risk of losing their jobs due to outdated skills or robotics. Given the importance of further training and re-training of people of working age in terms of employability as well as overall workforce competitiveness, and considering the financial implications of such training, the Committee of the Regions would welcome a relevant agreement by the European social partners;

- points to the urgent need to safeguard the right to education and training of all learners by strengthening the crisis resilience of education and training systems, including through the digitalisation of education and appropriate teacher training;

- notes that ever-growing digitalisation of work patterns requires an update of European rules governing working conditions and working time, including provisions to establish the right to disconnect;

- shares the Commission's view about the importance of continuing to actively combat poverty. Key aspects of this are support for job-seeking, quality and affordable health care, access to education and training, housing, and addressing basic needs. Ensuring access to affordable and quality long-term care is essential to sustain a decent life in old age. Pensioner poverty must be prevented, and the best way of doing this is to ensure adequate pensions, guaranteeing everyone's right to have in old age the resources that ensure living in dignity, while also taking into account the significant gender pension gap.