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Solidarity and strength in building tomorrow's Europe

Fair wages, good working conditions, social security - the corona pandemic has shown how important it is for society to rest on common social values. Since the effects of the pandemic are felt everywhere, this applies to Europe as a whole. That is why the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) wants to strengthen Europe’s social dimension during Germany's EU Council Presidency.

A graffiti wall.

The corona pandemic has changed our everyday lives - be it shopping at the supermarket with a mask on or social distancing in parks. Working from home or doing short-time work (Kurzarbeit) - many are asking the same questions: How can we boost the labour market and the economy so my job is safe? How will the pandemic change my day-to-day work

#MySocialEurope: European measures are needed

These questions require a joint European response. So, BMAS will continue to work on strengthening social security and fairness in Europe: #MySocialEurope is the motto. We have a special role to play here because, starting on 1 July 2020, Germany will hold the European Union (EU) Council Presidency for six months.

During the presidency, BMAS will, together with EU employment and social affairs ministers, get to grips with how we can improve the working as well as everyday lives of around 450 million Europeans. Above all, we want to support those facing particularly difficult challenges, such as single parents, jobless youth, the long-term unemployed and elderly – economically, but especially socially. Because bringing economic and social stability to the EU must go hand in hand.

The EU is more than just the single market. It unites economic strength with social protection. All Europeans must be able to count on that, because the social consequences of the pandemic can be felt everywhere in Europe. It is time to work even closer together to enhance Europe's social dimension.

Huberturs Heil, Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs

Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs' priorities for Germany's EU Council Presidency

BMAS will focus on the following priorities during Germany's Presidency: Strengthening Europe’s social dimension, shaping the future world of work and expanding responsibilities for global supply chains.

The effects of the corona pandemic have shown that adequate minimum social standards are increasingly important and Europe must have a strong social dimension. BMAS will therefore discuss the strengthening of two key instruments with its EU partners: Minimum wages for workers and guaranteed minimum incomes for those in need. The pandemic has also exposed serious grievances in the working conditions of seasonal workers, including in Germany. We want to ensure that people's rights are enforced in the daily work routine: there can be no second-class workers. At the same time, the pandemic is accelerating the digital transformation of work. Tomorrow’s world of work is fast upon us. Already today, we need to provide a European approach to manage this transition. Moreover, Europeans have a global responsibility: The corona pandemic has not only demonstrated how tightly Europe is woven into the global economy but highlighted global supply chains. Europe has a responsibility to ensure decent working conditions in its supply chains and stand up for fair and just globalisation.

More detailed information on BMAS' priorities for Germany's EU Council Presidency can be found on the following pages.