Social Rights Pillar: Just a Trojan horse for ‘Better Regulation’?

Wednesday 9 March 2016

by Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary

As stated in the ETUCs press release yesterday, the European Trade Union Movement has some serious misgivings about some of the contents of the draft social pillar – an initiative launched by the European Commission. European trade unions doubt some of the content of the pillar including:

  • Lack of protection and promotion of collective bargaining and social dialogue, as a means of achieving fair wages;
  • The proposal to review the entire ‘social acquis’ (all social legislation), knowing that the Commission’s ‘REFIT’ and ‘better regulation’ reviews have damaged rather than improved social rights.“

Although UNI Europa welcomes this ambitious initiative of the Commission, we fully support the assessment of the ETUC and its doubts about the direction that the initiative might take.

“UNI Europa is particularly concerned that the social pillar initiative will be a pretext to roll back social rights in Europe further,” stated Oliver Roethig, UNI Europa Regional Secretary, “We worry that the initiative, and its proposed review of all EU social legislation, could be a Trojan horse for the Commission’s ‘REFIT’ and ‘Better Regulation’ agenda.”

Just last week, UNI Europa launched a high profile campaign under the slogan ‘Better Regulation – It Really Isn’t.’ The campaign highlights examples of how the European Commission expertly wields the ‘Better Regulation’ agenda as a tool to stall essential social legislation – the first example being the mockery of the agreement on the health and safety of hairdressers, which we represent as a social partner.

“What Europe needs is a Commission that engages with the social partners to improve living and working conditions in Europe, promotes social dialogue initiatives and implements necessary social legislation – rather than blocks it”. Oliver Roethig added.