The Future of Europe – the services workers’ perspective

Friday 24 March 2017

Oliver Roethig, UNI Europa’s Regional Secretary, will today attend a high level event on ‘The Future of Europe –  Shaping our Future TOGETHER’ in Rome.

The event comes one day before the 60th anniversary of the treaties of Rome, when EU Heads of State will gather in Rome to reflect on the state of the European Union and the future of the integration process. The leaders are expected to adopt a declaration setting out a joint vision for the years to come (find out more here).

UNI Europa and the 7 million services workers we represent want the strongest and fairest EU possible. But to achieve that, the EU has to go back to the base – its citizens and workers. It urgently needs to gain back their trust and enthusiasm in the EU project – which it can only do by showing them that the EU is there for them, and reaffirming the social model.

Unfortunately, the social dimension is lacking entirely in all the options the European Commission has presented in its White Paper on the Future of Europe –  the only mention of ‘social dimension’ is when a Commission reflection paper is proposed – we think there is a little more to be done than reflection.

From the UNI Europa perspective, this is what we need for a thriving and successful European Union:

  • The European Pillar of Social Rights must result in a real and comprehensive EU social action programme, bringing together legislation, policymaking mechanisms and financial resources.
  • The EU must pro-actively guarantee and promote trade union and collective bargaining rights, at EU and national levels as well as within multinational companies.
  • The services sector, the backbone of the EU economy, must be at the centre of any Future of EU strategy, including addressing the social and labour dimension of digitalisation in order to stop the increase in precarious work, guarantee a just transition for workers and ensure that they are not being played against each other by unscrupulous employers.
  • The EU must be a guarantor for fair and decent employment for all workers in all forms of employment and ensure European workers are not forced into ever more precarious forms of employment.

UNI Europa believes the proposed European Pillar of Social Rights can be a way of getting Europe back on track, but only if it provides a credible promise of hope for working people. The EU’s ambition must be for working life once again to provide a positive and predictable future, based on fairness, progress and social safety. We need a broad and large working class that is not in a precarious working and living situation. We need a Europe where social and employment rights take precedence over unrestricted capital.

Watch our video explaining the European Pillar of Social Rights here

UNI Europa also supports today’s ETUC and social partners’ statement on the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome

More ressources

  • Find out about UNI Europa’s priorities for a successful European Pillar of Social Rights here
  • Read our comments on the recent European Commission White Paper on the Future of Europe here
  • Read Oliver Roethig’s opinion piece that was published in Euractiv here