European Pillar of Social Rights: Patients’ Concerns Matter!
In March 2016, the European Commission launched a consultation on a European Pillar of Social Rights, focusing on needs and challenges in employment and social policies. The European Commission proposed a first preliminary outline of the principles. And EPF is ready to respond.
The Pillar as proposed by the European Commission is focusing on 3 areas of actions:
- Equal opportunities and access to the labour market.
- Fair working conditions, with a balance of rights and obligations between employers and workers.
- Adequate and sustainable protection including access to high quality essential services such as childcare, healthcare and long term care to ensure dignified living.
EPF is providing comments in various field of interest for patients, including equal treatment and opportunities in education and employment, sickness and disability benefits, access to healthcare and long term care, and childcare.
We will also comment on some key general aspects of the Social Pillar:
- We believe it is important that the Pillar applies EU wide for all Member States, as in our experience, the country most in need of actions to improve universal health coverage are often located outside the Eurozone.
- The Pillar ought to address access to healthcare and health inequalities amongst its priorities as health inequalities and barriers to access have dramatic consequences on the economy and society as a whole.
- The principles must be in line with international commitments in the field of social rights, such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, or the United Nations sustainable development goals for health.
- The definition of appropriate means in order to support the implementation of the principles in the Pillar, and indicators to monitor the process
The public consultation is available here and open until 31 December.
Following a consultation with our membership, we will submit our response by mid-December and publish it on the EPF website.
Laurène Souchet, Policy Advisor