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Social priorities under the Juncker Commission: what progress so far?

The European Commission led by Jean-Claude Juncker has delivered today his 2018 State of the Union Address, highlighting the work undertaken to push the social dimension of the EU.

It takes stock of the progress achieved over the past years, and give a comprehensive overview of the key policy and legislation promoted to foster a more social Europe, in particular several dossiers on which Autism-Europe has been active, for example the European Accessibility Act, the Pillar of Social Rights and the Directive for Work-life balance.

Jean-Claude Juncker: “I would like the European Union to take better care of its social dimension. Those that ignore the legitimate concerns of workers and small businesses undermine European unity. It is time we turned the good intentions that we proclaimed at the Gothenburg Social Summit into law.”

According with the State of the Union 2018, the Juncker Commission is deepening Europe’s social dimension. In November 2017, at the first European Social Summit in 20 years, the European Pillar of Social Rights was proclaimed, providing the anchor for a strong social dimension in the future. Labour mobility drives economic growth, but must be organised in a fair way and lead to a race to the top.

The deal on posting of workers ensuring the principle of the same pay for the same work at the same place has been a major step in this direction. In addition, the Commission has tabled landmark proposals to improve the coordination of social security systems between Member States and to create a European Labour Authority. Work is well advanced on rules for accessible products and services in the Single Market for people with disabilities and to ensure a better work-life balance with proposals to improve parental and carer leave.

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President Juncker’s speech before the Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg was accompanied by the adoption of 18 concrete initiatives by the European Commission on migration and borders, security, free and secure elections, the European Union’s partnership with Africa and the EU as a global actor, putting words immediately into action. These proposals are intended to help deliver positive results for citizens by the time of the Sibiu Summit in May 2019 and ahead of the 2019 European elections.

Read the speech in full

Download the State of the Union 2018 brochure