At the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council of 23 October in Luxembourg, EU Ministers of Employment and Social Affairs expressed their unanimous endorsement of the European Pillar of Social Rights, only two years after the idea was first mentioned by President Juncker and less than six months after it was presented. The Pillar will be proclaimed by the Parliament, the Council and the Commission at the Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth, taking place on 17 November in Gothenburg. The Council also agreed on a general approach regarding the Commission’s proposal to revise the rules on the posting of workers.
Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, in charge of Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, welcomed today’s agreement and said: “This Council meeting marks an important step forward for social Europe. The unanimous endorsement of the European Pillar of Social Rights shows that all Member States are committed to striving for better working and living conditions throughout our Union, in light of challenges such as an ageing society, globalisation and digitalisation. As for the agreement on posting of workers – our position from the beginning has been that workers should earn the same pay for the same work in the same place. I am glad Member States broadly support this. This is fair for the posted workers, who deserve equal working conditions. And this is fair for local workers and employers who don’t want to be undercut on wages. It shows that in Europe we can come together, sit around a table, have a dialogue and reach a fair and balanced agreement.”
The political agreement on the posting of workers confirms the Commission’s key principle of equal pay for equal work at the same place, which President Juncker had called for in his State of Union speech in September 2015 and in his Political Guidelines, setting out that posted workers will generally benefit from the same rules governing pay and working conditions as local workers.
Last week’s agreement in the European Parliament’s Employment Committee and agreement in the Council, confirm the strong political commitment from all actors to make our internal labour market fairer and its rules easier to enforce. The Commission thanks the Estonian Presidency for the great work done on this file. It now calls on the Parliament and the Council to seize this momentum and to swiftly continue the discussions with the Commission, to finalise the agreement and formally adopt the proposal.
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