European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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Priority 1: Policies and actions for the future of Europe


The ETUC has identified the main lines along which a renewed approach to social protection should be pursued: ensuring equal social protection rights for equal work to people in all forms of employment; upgrading working conditions and the adequacy of social protection for all, in a logic of upward convergence; ensuring solidarity and fairness in social protection by designing collective systems – whether tax- or insurance-based – providing at least adequate minimum provisions and fall-back safety nets and to which people mandatorily contribute equally and proportionally to their capacity and benefit from according to their needs.

National trade unions understand that people in all forms of employment, regardless of the type and duration of their employment relationship, must have equal access to adequate social protection and the full range of employment services for re-insertion into the labour market. Levels of protection equal to those in force for standard employees must be ensured to all working people, thereby eliminating differences and discrimination linked to the type and duration of employment relationships in effective social protection against life risks and job loss.

Enforcing these principles should create a more level playing field – de jure and de facto –, allowing everyone in employment to enjoy better conditions, protection against life risks, upward convergence and distributional effects.

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  • To be well-prepared for and well-informed about this renewed approach to social protection;
  • To be able to participate in ETUC work by implementing the European approach at national level;
  • To be able to influence national reforms and future strategies.