Before joining the European Parliament as an MEP of the group of Socialists and Democrats in 2019, I was a Full Professor at the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Valencia, and a researcher at the Research Institute on Social Welfare Policy -Polibienestar- of the University of Valencia. Professionally, I have dedicated myself to research applied to the development of European public policies, especially in the social and health area.
In my work in the European Parliament, I have used my experience in public policies to promote a Social Europe that protects people, and to develop measures and programmes that improve their quality of life andthe wellbeing of the society in general.
EXPERT IN SOCIAL POLICY PROGRAMMES
During my long-standing academic career, I have focused on improving the living conditions of vulnerable groups. I have developed an expertise in integrated care services and independent living for the elderly and for people with disabilities, and explored community integration models for people of migrant origin. On health, I have studied the impact of gender stereotypes and psychosocial determinants on women’s health, and how to improve programmes for the quality of life of the chronically ill. I have also researched the labour market inclusion of disadvantaged groups, like young people and those over 55. My current priorities in the European Parliament are:
The European Pillar of Social Rights
The Social Pillar is the compass that guides efforts towards a fairer and more equal Europe. At the high-level Social Summit in Porto in May 2021, European leaders committed to the full implementation of the pillar. As an MEP, I work to mainstream the EPSR principles across all policy areas and ensure that social inclusion, equality and justice are at the heart of all legislation, funds and programmes.
Decent working conditions
One of my priorities as an MEP is to push for a European agenda for quality jobs that ensures decent working conditions for all workers. In the growing digital economy, it is essential to ensure rights for all workers, including non-standard workers on atypical contracts, workers in platform companies and the self-employed, and to regulate the use of Artificial Intelligence in the workplace. I also advocate for ensuring fair minimum wages, promoting democracy at work and achieving the coordination of social security systems at EU level.
The Covid-19 pandemic has showed us the importance of public policies that protect people’s mental health. In the European Parliament, I work for a European Mental Health Strategy and for a stronger focus on mental health in social, care, health and employment policies.
In a context of increased digitalisation of the world of work, automation, and the use of Artificial Intelligence and algorithms, protecting mental health at work is essential. I work for a better regulation of telework, the right to disconnect and digital rights in the labour market, with the aim of ensuring the safety and health, including mental health, of workers.
Housing for all
Housing is a fundamental right, and a cornerstone of the welfare state. As the Socialists and Democrats’ shadow rapporteur of the report on access to decent and affordable housing, I fought for including housing in the EU list of Services of General Interest to broaden access to decent housing to all groups, not just the most vulnerable. I advocated for supporting a ‘Housing First’ approach to end homelessness, regulating the rental market, especially short-term rentals. I also work for the Renovation Wave to benefit the most vulnerable and support stronger efforts to fight energy poverty.
The inclusion of people with disabilities in the EU is anchored in the Commission’s new Strategy for the period 2021-2027. In the European Parliament, I strive for the recognition of disability status across the EU with a European Disability Card, for full integration of people with disabilities in the labour market, especially through the social economy, for investments in community living to end institutionalisation, and for better and more accessible long-term care and social services.
The social economy has as a main aim to create social and environmental progress, and it reinvests its profits in social projects. Now is the time to rethink our economic model and invest in systems that put people’s and the environment’s well-being at the centre of politics. I will work as an MEP to achieve a European Action Plan for the Social Economy that delivers a just transition based on quality employment for all, welfare and the inclusion of the most vulnerable.
A new model for economic governance
A Sustainable Wellbeing and Social Progress Pact is key to ensure an economic governance framework that ensures employment and social policies that benefit everyone and ensure dignified living conditions for all. As an MEP, I work for the revision of the EU fiscal architecture that includes a golden rule for social investment, and for the strengthening of social clauses in public procurement. Moreover, as the S&D Shadow Rapporteur for the 2022 Semester, I defend the inclusion of more social objectives in the Semester and the measurement of progress and societal growth beyond GDP, putting social and well-being indicators in the centre of policies.