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The Porto Social Summit and the launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe are important opportunities to put social issues on the top of the European agenda. In order to successfully cope with the impacts of the Covid-19 and the climate crisis, there is need to improve working and living conditions of EU citizens. The well-being of citizens has to have priority over market interests.

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Gloria Gruber

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The Commission has presented a regulatory proposal, which, above all, shall enable travel within the EU. The idea behind it is to take a step towards “normality” before the summer.

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Mit dem Grünen Deal soll Europa bis 2050 der weltweit erste klimaneutrale Kontinent werden. Das erfordert einen grundlegenden Wandel unseres Wirtschaftssystems. Die AK kämpft dafür, dass dieser Übergang zur Klimaneu­tralität sozial gerecht gestaltet wird und nicht zu Lasten der ArbeitnehmerInnen geht. Im Kern geht es um die gewerkschaftliche Forderung nach einer „Just Transition“ – einem sozial gerechten Übergang.

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Norbert Templ

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Peter Hilpold

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The Social Summit in Porto is the culmination of the ambitious Portuguese Council Presidency, which has advanced many important trade union demands. There, the Action Plan on the European Pillar of Social Rights is to be solemnly proclaimed on 7 May 2021.

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Much depends on a well-functioning  labour market – this is true for individuals and their families, but also for society and state.

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On 4 March 2021, the Commission presented its long awaited new European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan. Against the background of the Covid-19 crisis, with dramatic unemployment figures, rising poverty and precarious working conditions, an urgent need for action is required.

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In spite of the principle of non-discrimination, women across Europe are still earning 14 % less than men. Hence, the Pay Transparency Directive, which had already been announced for 2020, is long overdue.

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In December 2020, the EU institutions agreed on a 750 billion euros stimulus package to finance the recovery after the Covid-19 crisis. Now the question has arisen, which projects are to be funded with this money. Together with 15 other organisations, AK EUROPA is now urging the EU Finance Ministers: Europe must seize this chance to build a bridge to a new economy that is sustainable, resilient, and guarantees better living standards for everyone!

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Inhumane working conditions and exploitation are the reality for many agricultural workers in the EU. In an open letter, the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT) demands more social rights for the agricultural workers within the scope of the common agricultural policy, which is supported by more than 300 other organisations – among them AK EUROPA.

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The Covid-19 crisis not only rendered visible the great importance of the platform economy for the supply of everyday goods. It also revealed the disadvantages of this hyper-flexible form of intermediation and employment, often combined with a precarious working situation. However, given the urgency of a just and fair regulation of platform workers’ working conditions, it has now become abundantly clear – the time is ripe for a Directive on platform work.