On 16 and 17 November, EuropeActive attended the first European Employment & Social Rights Forum organised by the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission. The theme of this inaugural Forum was the social dimension of the green transition, with a view to address what policies the European Union and its Member States need to put in place to ensure that this transition is fair and full of opportunities.
The first day of the Forum was opened by a video speech from the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, highlighting the importance of 2023 as the European Year Of Skills in the just and green transition. Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, continued with a discussion on the social dimension of the green transition with representatives from social partners, such as the Lifelong Learning Platform and the European Youth Forum.
The Forum was a special occasion to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the European Pillar of Social Rights with inspiring speeches and good practices. The former President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, addressed the 20 principles of the Pillar and highlighted “patience, determination and conviction” as key points to reach the Pillar targets.
The second day involved social partners in discussions on ways to implement fair transition actions. Three sets of three break-out sessions were run to tackle key topics such as the 2022 Employment and Social Developments in Europe report results, the potential of a caring economy, the European Care Strategy, young people in the post COVID-19 labour market, synergies between the digital and the green transitions, and more.
Andriana Sukova, Deputy Director-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, concluded this first edition of the European Employment & Social Rights Forum by highlighting the importance for the green transition to be fair and inclusive, and not leaving anyone behind.