The European Social Model as a key driver for competitiveness

26 Sep 2013

The European Parliament today hosted a joint debate on the European Social Model as a key driver for competitiveness in the EU. The Committee for Employment and Social Affairs brought together four key European agencies in this field (Cedefop, ETF, EU-OSHA and Eurofound) to discuss how Europe can combat and emerge from the current economic crisis through a strengthened European Social Model, with each body underlining how they are contributing to this common goal.

The European Social Model as a key driver for competitiveness

The contributions from the agencies highlighted the need for more investment in education and training in order to foster workforces throughout Europe with improved skills. Health and safety issues also took centre stage, with EU-OSHA demonstrating that a high level of health and safety standards makes good economic sense as well as good social sense.  In general, there was also widespread agreement across the agencies on the importance of social dialogue in strengthening the social model in Europe.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Moldova, Valeriu Lazar, addressed the joint debate demonstrating how Moldova was learning from the EU in terms of its economic and social model. Mr Lazar saw the European Social Model as an investment in human capital, as an investment which brings a return. The lack of this investment in Moldova has seen the country exporting brains and therefore exporting its workforce, the Deputy Prime Minister commented.

László Andor, the Commissioner responsible for Employment and Social Affairs brought the event to a close by speaking about the failure of the Economic and Monetary Union in terms of social cohesion. With severe social imbalances the Commissioner pointed to a Commission proposal, to be releases next week, which may attempt at repairing this damage from a social perspective. With social dialogue undergoing severe staring throughout Europe, the Commissioner also indicated that existing instruments could be made more effective, particularly in countries where social dialogue needs to be rebuilt.

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