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23 October 2019

From Juncker to the new Commission, passing by the Social Pillar

Philippe Pochet

The latest podcast by Social Europe looks back at the Juncker Commission and the difficulties and challenges it has faced. Editor-in Chief Henning Meyer and ETUI General Director Philippe Pochet discuss the social policy record of the Juncker Commission and that although progress has been made, there is still a long way to go in many aspects. Philippe Pochet discusses the improvements made from the Barroso Commission and explores different areas which are still challenging and need to be tackled.
The issue of platform workers is one of the problematic topics. Despite new written directives and contracts that have been proposed by the new Commission, people are still faced with the challenge of having to choose between defending the worker or the company. “Not enough has been done yet to address the full scale of the problem” says Pochet.

Another prominent and increasingly problematic topic is climate change. What is the social side of climate change? We are currently faced with a huge issue and will turn to the new Commission to push for drastic changes to be made in different industries, such as the locomotive industry. Although there has been slow progress, there is no clear change or ambition in the Commission.

The podcast also discusses the Pillar of Social Rights, a topic that is still unknown to most people due to the lack of information. Even people who are more knowledgeable on EU politics are still not fully clear on what the European Pillar of Social Rights really is. What is important in this regard is that there is a new dynamic for a new social agenda and a want for change.

Pochet talks about returning to social programming at EU level and that the Pillar shouldn’t be seen as the end of a story, but rather a beginning of one. “The Pillar is like a conversation starter that opens new regulations and discussions and commitment at EU level but also at national level. It is a steppingstone, but not an end in itself”.

There are several issues that need to be considered by the new Commission, and many changes that still need to be made. But for this, we must be aware of the challenges we face, and what our options are in terms of moving forward.

To watch the video click here: Social Europe and the European Commission

To listen to the audio click here: https://www.socialeurope.eu/podcast

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