Economic, social and territorial cohesion policy must play a key role in supporting the establishment of the social pillar, the EPP Group in the European Committee of the Regions has underlined ahead of the Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth, which is taking place in Gothenburg on 17 November where a Proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights will be signed.

As one of the most important and comprehensive EU policies, Cohesion Policy already contributes to strengthening the EU as a whole and can also deliver a positive impact on people’s lives” Mauro D’Attis (IT/EPP), Member of the Executive Council of Roccafiorita Municipality and rapporteur on the European Committee of the Regions’ opinion on the European Pillar of Social Rights and Reflection paper on the social dimension of Europe, said before adding:

“We welcome the decision of the Leaders of the EU 27 Member States to address economic and social insecurity needs as a matter of priority. However, we must not forget that there are significant social inequalities throughout our Union, which exist both within and between the Member States. We cannot afford to disregard the responsibility and powers of local and regional authorities in this area”

The EPP Group further highlights that any action taken – either public or private – must take account of regional and local specificities, demographic challenges and of persistently high youth unemployment respecting the Member States’ practices and administrative organisations.

The EPP Group welcomes the Gothenburg Summit’s focus on young people and argues social investment should be seen as as investment in the future, not just a burden on the public purse. “In view of the rise in youth unemployment, the European Pillar of Social Rights must act now to tackle this burning issue” Mauro D’Attis stressed. He therefore proposes extending the benefits of the “Youth Guarantee” scheme to people up to the age of 30 and introducing an European scheme against unemployment, with sustainable and adequate funding from both European and national funds.

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