EU Social Summit a 'wasted opportunity' to reduce inequality, ETUI head says

TALKING EUROPE
TALKING EUROPE © FRANCE 24

This week, Talking Europe is taking a closer look at how the EU hopes to bounce back from the pandemic and create jobs, this after a year of economic stasis with businesses closed, workers furloughed and job prospects curtailed. Last weekend's Social Summit in Porto outlined how the EU hopes to increase employment levels to 78 percent, reduce the number of people living in poverty by 15 million and propose training schemes for 60 percent of the European workforce, all by 2030.

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So how do workers and trade unions see the post-pandemic labour market?

Philippe Pochet of the European Trade Union Institute argues that the EU Social Summit in Porto needs to back its declarations with concrete action and that the EU, having much discussed changing its "software" during the pandemic, must ensure there's no repeat of the mistakes of the austerity era in 2008. 

In addition, the economic impact of Covid-19 has deepened inequalities, with women and young people disproportionately affected. Pochet argues that the EU-wide Minimum Wage could lift 20 million workers out of poverty. This appears even more essential since many workers are vulnerable to the next major challenges in the labour market: the green and digital transitions.

Produced by Perrine Desplats, Isabelle Romero, Céline Schmitt and Mathilde Bénézet

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