On November 11, I participated as a representative of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee of the European Parliament in a conference on “Promoting Social Mobility and Equal Opportunities” organised by the European Parliamentary Research Service, the ECSR (European Consortium for Sociolocial Research) and Population Europe (The Network of Europe’s Leading Demographic Research Centres).
Today in Europe, family origin still determines access to health, education, professional perspectives and other important dimensions of well-being. And the economic crisis has further reduced social mobility and has aggravated income inequality. Breaking these trends is an essential requirement to model a more just and efficient society.
The solutions are not complex: the countries that in the last decades spent more on public education, on strong social protection networks for families, and also promoted inclusion in the face of educational segregation, are the ones that managed to soften the effect of the advantage by social origin. And we must increase our efforts so that children of any origin can develop on equal terms. The Child Guarantee is already a huge step in this direction and has a budget of 5.9 billion euros to reduce child poverty; also one of the specific objectives of the future European Social Fund +.
Socialists in the European Parliament will work to improve access to education, universal health and quality employment. Within our action plan for the implementation of the European Social Pillar we promote, among others, the establishment of an interprofessional minimum wage in each country, the reduction of precarious work, the design of a European unemployment insurance, the reconciliation of family and professional life, social dialogue and access to decent housing.
The challenge in a complex and globalised world is to learn to cohabit with a more egalitarian society where the management of resources and public goods ceases to be an option and becomes an obligation.