Counsellor, Permanent Representation of France to the EU
All Sessions by Alexis Ridde
22 February 2019
Is social Europe working?
09:15 - 10:30
During the financial crisis, policy measures focused on addressing macroeconomic symptoms. Social concerns were downplayed – even though benefits were slashed, unemployment rose, and poverty and inequality soared, hurting Europe’s most vulnerable. When economic recovery began, the current European Commission pledged in November 2017 to address these dangerous trends. It launched the European Pillar of Social Rights, setting out 20 key principles aimed at providing equal opportunities and access to the labour market, maintaining fair working conditions and improving social protection and inclusion. Is this project mere hot air? Or has it managed to deliver? It could be argued that the real impact of European policies on welfare is still predominantly felt through fiscal rules and limitations rather than through European social initiatives. What should be the priorities of the next European Parliament and European Commission for achieving social inclusion?