EuroHealthNet has conditionally welcomed the European Commission (EC) initiative to establish a “European Pillar of Social Rights”. Announcing its overall position after a substantial consultation with members and partners in EU Member States, EuroHealthNet sees the Pillar as an opportunity to clarify unclear objectives and provisions in the EU Treaties and body of laws concerning equality, wellbeing and social determinants of health. EuroHeathNet has made concrete proposals for the implementation of the initiative.
EuroHealthNet warns against risks of increasing inequalities if Eurozone states are treated differently from others, but insists “There can be no EU without a social EU”. Its members feel that many health and social responsibilities should remain with States and sub-national authorities, but there is scope for improvements in existing legislation, plus some important new initiatives.
In particular, EuroHealthNet calls for numerous actions and investment directly related to social and economic factors causing ill-health, plus several innovative ideas for content of the potential Pillar:
- An EC Vice President with responsibility to ensure implementation of social measures;
- A new Directive on Social Sustainability using models in development in Sweden and elsewhere;
- Improved measures to support States address health and social issues in the EU Semester;
- Alignment of goals and targets with the global 2030 Sustainable Development commitments