Jobs, careers and companies evolve. New technologies, innovative production models and globalisation change our economic fabric. This also impacts the way we work. Increasing flexibility, diversity and entrepreneurship in 21st-century labour markets are crucial drivers of long-term economic growth and job creation in this changing economy and must be combined with security, ensuring all citizens have access to dignified work and adequate social rights.
Europe needs a dynamic workforce, including both young and old, women and men, to support competitiveness and foster job creation in the global and digital economy. Protectionism leads to poverty — ultimately, import tariffs and tariff wars are paid in jobs and higher prices. At the same time, people want to be able to make full use of the possibilities offered by new technologies and production models to improve their work-life balance and skills.
Simultaneously, the changing economy drives an increasing diversity in employment forms and relationships. The difference between self-employment and employment has become vaguer in many new activities. Entrepreneurship, innovative production models and digital transformation increasingly contribute to our future welfare. We must ensure all business models also contribute to our social models.
We recognise that increased flexibility and diversity at times also challenge employees’ and employers’ need for security: for employers, security to be able to count on flexible employees in order to be competitive in an ever-changing world market; for employees, job security, active support for employment, income security and protection, opportunities for professional development and life-long learning and a healthy work-life balance.
Whereas digitally trained and high-skilled workers experience high levels of job security, certain industries and jobs are under pressure. At the same time, an increasing number of people combine a primary with a secondary job, whether in employment or self-employment, or involuntarily work in non-standard forms of employment or according to atypical contracts. These people sometimes experience difficulties in exercising their rights at work or in accessing social entitlements. This affects women in particular, who face an 18% pay gap, a higher concentration in part-time work and more career interruptions due to care.
The European People’s Party is convinced that the competitiveness of the European economy is crucial for securing Europe’s future. Therefore, economic competitiveness and social progress must be balanced in a highly competitive European Social Market Economy, aiming at full employment and social progress, and at a high level of protection for, and improvement of, the quality of the environment. A quality job is not only a source of income; it is also a driver of empowerment and integration and a protection against poverty. Effective social protection ensures that when confronted with setbacks, people have a fall-back position and concrete opportunities to re-enter employment. This ultimately benefits the entire economy.
We want jobs that pay, with decent income and working conditions, and access to effective social protection for everybody who works.
Therefore, the European People’s Party:
Fair income and protection
Supporting those in need
Free and fair labour mobility
Improving work-life balance
Stimulating social dialogue