The European elections in May are an opportunity to reinvigorate social Europe, writes Marie Béatrice Levaux.
Marie Béatrice Levaux is the president of the European Federation for Family Employment and Home Care
2019 will be the year of challenges in the European Union, but also of many uncertainties. The vote in May will be decisive for the future of Europe – a Europe of ours, this of the citizens. On May 26, nearly 400 million voters are expected to display their own vision of Europe.
The next European term must be driven by solutions, by mobilization and reconciliation. We must give Europe a new impulse by shaping an innovative image to it if we want the European continent to have a seat at the global level.
As committed stakeholders from European civil society, we expect a more social and inclusive Europe ready to face every demographic, economic or migratory challenge and to put citizens and their needs at the heart of EU public policies.
Among those needs, one that stands out is this of rethinking the role of private homes and households and how to support citizens needs on a daily basis in an ever-faster-changing environment – induced by the digital and ecological revolution, multiplication of family schemes and metamorphosis of forms of work.
Since 2012, the European Federation for Family Employment and Home care (EFFE) has been developing and building new answers to societal and economic stakes interweaving with employment, skills, and work-life balance issues in the EU.
With a strong aspiration to take part in raising new perspectives for social Europe, our Federation has worked with actors from several member states to draft a European White Paper. It is a proper political manifesto aimed at shedding some more light on how every of these economic and social issues sticks to one another.
It is also bringing them to the EU institutions’ attention and submitting a few relevant solutions – global ageing, female participation in the labour market, a few days before International Women’s Day, but also the digital transition within private homes, new familial patterns or professional and social integration of migrant populations, to name but a few.
All of these topics deserve a true European political response, committed to giving meaning to the mobilisation of civil society actors and the commitment of citizens towards more solidarity between generations and European people.
This is the reason why EFFE, on Wednesday 6 March 2019, will engage its endeavours for Europe during the European White Paper final presentation in Brussels, from 13:30 to 17:30, at the European Economic and Social Committee, an advisory assembly representing EU professions and social partners.
The digital revolution offers an unprecedented opportunity for the home employment sector in Europe and that is why we are delighted to announce that Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, will open the debates of the day.
The participation of members of the European Parliament such as Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Brando Benifei, Georgi Pinrinski and Sofia Ribeiro confirms how important this topic is, but also that it stands above all traditional political disputes.
These long-standing supports shall grant this debate a place under the spotlights of the European elections campaign – allowing a structured response to the citizens’ needs.
It is with great confidence that we seek to contribute to revitalize Europe and have EU institutions and citizen requirements get closer together.
We are eager to meet the next European term!