European Federation of Journalists

EFJ contributes to European Commission social pillar consultation

On 31st December 2016 the consultation of the European Commission on the European pillar of social rights ended. The EFJ has submitted its response focusing on the need for equal treatment for all workers independent of their employment contract.

The consultation of the Commission follows a process of the European Commission that took off following the State of the Union speech of President Juncker in 2015. The public consultation contains a series of questions on the social situation and EU social “acquis”, the future of work and welfare systems and the European Pillar of Social Rights.

The most pressing priorities as defined the EFJ for a social pillar  are:

  •  Equal treatment and concept of non-discrimination: social protection for all workers independent of their employment status;
  •  right to collective bargaining on behalf of freelance workers working for all media including digital;
  •  fair remuneration for all including interns;
  •  right to freedom of association for all workers independent of their employment relation;
  •  competition law should not be applied to (dependent ) self-employed workers.
  •   fight bogus and dependent self-employment;
    EU competition law, conceived as an EU internal market tool, may severely impact workers’ collective bargaining rights and their freedom of association. This ultimately can impact on the quality of employment and working conditions, even to the extent of making it impossible for workers to earn a decent living.

Other EFJ priorities mentioned in the response:

  • The right to freedom of expression: including protection from victimisation and dismissal for ‘whistle­blowers’, outlawing ‘blacklisting’ and offering redress and compensation to victims.
  • The accession to the European Convention of Human Rights.
  • The adoption of principles related to basic standards of social rights to all workers including self-employed workers.

Digitisation of work and convergence must be transformed with social imperatives while offering skills and innovation at the same time. Quality jobs must be at the center of each policy.

There is a need for strengthening Social Dialogue at national level, in particular in those countries where it is weak. Trade unions must be acknowledged as important actors for social peace and progress.

The Commission will hold a European conference on the Pillar of Social Rights on 23 January 2017 to which the EFJ is invited.

The contribution of the EFJ to the Social Pillar consultation can be downloaded here: