European business seeks a step change in EU social policy
Today, BusinessEurope published its new strategic paper on the future EU social dimension, seeking a step change in EU social policy. Given the challenges Europe is facing today, our social achievements and progress can’t be taken for granted.
BusinessEurope is calling for a new kind of European social governance to better coordinate national policies and reforms on employment and social protection through a deeper cooperation between the social partners, the Commission and the Member States.
BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: "We can be proud of the European social model. The EU has the highest investment in social protection compared to other parts of the world – nearly 29% of our economic output, compared to Japan with about 20% and Australia or Canada below 20%. We have well developed social safety nets in Europe where 80% of EU workers have access to unemployment benefits. Elsewhere in the world, it’s only about 30%. But only if our European companies can successfully compete globally, they will be able to carry on creating and sustaining good jobs, inclusive growth and wealth.
In several EU countries and regions, labour markets don’t perform as they should. This negatively affects economic and social cohesion between EU Member States. In some cases, this is even cementing inequality and poverty.
Labour markets must provide flexibility and security, they should become more dynamic and adaptable. We have to put people, work and companies’ competitiveness at the centre of digitalisation, making sure technology enhances workers’ productivity and people have the right skills to grasp the job opportunities it provides."