Street vendors in Athens
Photo: ARIS MESSINIS / AFP
More employment, more training, more prosperity: the EU Commission has presented its plan for a more social Europe.
By 2030, at least 78 percent of the population between the ages of 20 and 64, five percentage points more than 2019, should have work.
In addition, at least 60 percent of adults should take part in further training every year by 2030.
The number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion is to be reduced by at least 15 million over the next ten years.
In 2019, according to Eurostat, a good 91 million people in the 27 EU countries were at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen praised the goals as "ambitious".
But for some in parliament they don't go far enough - even with the CDU, sometimes not.
"I would have liked more concrete goals by 2030, for example in terms of collective bargaining," said the social policy spokesman for the EPP parliamentary group, Dennis Radtke, on the plans.
The EU states are primarily responsible for implementing the goals.
The specified numbers do not have to be explicitly met in every EU country.
Only the EU as a whole needs to achieve it.
The plan's specific ideas for action include a platform to combat homelessness, fairer pay in the low-wage sector and a revision of the so-called social scoreboard - a kind of digital display board for comparing values, for example, on unemployment or gender-equitable pay.
In the future, it will also be recorded there how many adults take part in further training and how child poverty is developing.
Legislative initiatives at European level are also announced in the action plan.
A plan should be in place by the end of the year to improve the working conditions of so-called platform workers.
This is about services that digital platforms such as Lieferando or Uber broker or provide.
Overall, the protection of physical and mental health in the workplace is to be improved.
The Socialist Group in the European Parliament welcomed the action plan.
In a communication she called on the EU Commission and the EU governments to commit to binding targets in a joint declaration with the European Parliament in May.
Then a large EU social summit will take place in the Portuguese city of Porto.
With the plan, the EU Commission wants to implement the so-called pillar of social rights in Europe, which was agreed in 2017.
It comprises 20 principles on common minimum standards, including fair wages, unemployment assistance, health care and long-term care.
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