Skip to main content

The European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan

The Action Plan sets out concrete initiatives to turn the European Pillar of Social Rights into reality. It proposes headline targets for the EU by 2030.

Three ambitious EU targets by 2030

78%
Employment
at least 78% of the population aged 20 to 64 should be in employment by 2030
60%
Training
at least 60% of all adults should be participating in training every year by 2030
15 million
Reducing poverty
a reduction of at least 15 million in the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion

Where we stand

The coronavirus crisis has put a halt on a six-year positive employment progress, with an employment rate of 72.4% by the third quarter of 2020.By 2016, only 37% of adults were participating in learning activities every year.In 2019, around 91 million persons (out of which 17.9 million were children aged 0-17) were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU.

National targets

EU employment and social affairs ministers presented their national targets on 16 June 2022. Combined, Member States’ commitments set the EU firmly on the path to achieving or even exceeding the EU headline targets.

All national targets

Three EU social targets for 2030: All Member States on board

What Europeans think about Social Europe

Small, practical things such as diploma validation, getting a social security number, salary administration and everything involved with moving from one EU country to another should be easy.

Pascal, Netherlands
Professional portrait of young man smiling.

I work in a company that has diversity and inclusion at its heart and makes a lot of effort to avoid biases based on gender or any other diversity. I think the EU could look at these examples as we have great ideas to offer which could be replicated in other companies.

Alexandra, Romania
Woman in front of scenic background.

It should be easy and attractive to be self-employed in Europe, parallel to a job, training or a pension. On the one hand this can lead to better income and on the other it engages people of all ages and connects them across national borders.

Wolfgang, Austria
Middle aged man smiling.

 Public consultation

These testimonials are part of a large-scale public consultation with over 1000 written contributions from Member States, regions, cities, social partners, civil society organisations, international organisations, businesses, think tanks and citizens. In addition, the Commission consulted over 1500 key stakeholders – including the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – with dedicated webinars. The Action Plan draws on its results.

Results of the public consultation

Eurobarometer survey

9 in 10 Europeans (88%) consider social Europe to be important to them personally, according to a 2021 Eurobarometer survey on social issues.

Results of the 2021 Eurobarometer survey on social issues

Eurobarometer survey

Porto Social Summit and Porto Social Commitment

The Social Summit in Porto on 7-8 May 2021, organised by the Portuguese Council Presidency, provided the opportunity to reaffirm the commitment and ambition to put people first in Europe’s recovery and beyond. The Porto Social Summit was also an occasion to rally forces to renew, at the highest political level, the commitment to implement the Social Pillar.

On 7 May, partners signed up to the three 2030 headline targets set in the Commission’s European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan in a joint Porto Social Commitment.

On 8 May, the members of the European Council adopted the Porto Declaration on social affairs.

On 25 June, the European Council welcomed the EU headline targets of the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, in line with the Porto Declaration.

Voices from around Europe at the Porto Social Summit

Quote card by Charles Michel, President of the European Council: "To those who say that social Europe is invisible, I would say – invisible as the air that we breathe. That air is invisible but essential to human life."
Quote card by Mario Draghi, Prime Minister of Italy: "We have to enshrine the Pillar’s targets and milestones in the European Semester."
Quote card by David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament: "The Porto European Summit must not be a point of arrival, but a starting point towards a social recovery."
Quote card by Emmanuel Macron, President of France: "As Europeans, we are shaping the answer to the crisis we are facing: a social response, in line with our values."

Joining forces to deliver a more social Europe

Delivering on the European Pillar of Social Rights is a shared political commitment and responsibility of the EU institutions, national, regional and local authorities, social partners and civil society, all having a role to play in line with their competences.

Chart showing growth

Member States should make full use of the unprecedented EU funds available to support reforms and investments: the EU budget, NextGenerationEU, the European Social Fund Plus, and more.

Cog moving.

Member States should make the best use of the European Semester to coordinate economic, employment and social reforms and investments, putting people and their wellbeing at the centre.

Classical building

The engagement of national, regional and local authorities, social partners and civil society is essential to the implementation of the Pillar.

Hands shaking in front of globe.

Guiding and international EU action in the social area helps affirm the EU’s role as a responsible global leader, promoting decent work and social inclusion worldwide.

Timeline and key actions

The Action Plan sets out a number of EU actions that the Commission is committed to take during the current mandate (until the end of 2024), building on the many actions already undertaken since the proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2017. This Action Plan is the Commission’s contribution to turn the principles of the Social Pillar into reality.

  1. Already achieved in Q3 2021
    Already achieved in third quarter of 2021
  2. 2022

    Implementation report of the Working Time Directive

    Revision of the Barcelona targets

    Initiative on Pathways to School Success

    Review of the Quality Framework for Traineeships

    Initiative on long-term care

    Initiative on collective bargaining for the self-employed

    Report of the new high-level expert group on access to adequate and sustainable social protection 

    New tools and indicators on access to healthcare

    Legal proposals to reduce workers’ exposure to hazardous chemicals, including asbestos

    Council Recommendation on minimum income

    Initiative on social dialogue 

    Guidance on ex-ante distributional impact assessments 

    First EU report on access to essential services

  3. 2024

    First evaluation of the European Labour Authority

  4. 2025

    Review of the Action Plan on the European Pillar of Social Rights

Documents

The Porto declaration

On 8 May 2021, the members of the European Council adopted the Porto declaration on social affairs.

Porto Social Commitment

Partners have signed up to the three 2030 headline targets set in the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan in a joint Porto Social Commitment.

 

4 MARCH 2021
European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan
English
(3.08 MB - PDF)
Download

 

4 MARCH 2021
Commission Recommendation for Effective Active Support to Employment (EASE)
English
(187.24 KB - PDF)
Download

 

4 MARCH 2021
Factsheet: European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan
English
(449 KB - PDF)
Download

 

4 MARCH 2021
Factsheet: Effective Active Support to Employment (EASE)
English
(809.99 KB - PDF)
Download