On 26 April 2017, the European Commission launched a Work-Life Balance Package, composed of a Communication and a proposal for a Directive to “support work-life balance for parents and carers”. These were part of the broader launch of the European Pillar of Social Rights, which is to be discussed by Ministers of Social Affairs in Brussels today during the EPSCO Council.
“COFACE Families Europe has been actively campaigning for specific measures on work-life balance. We welcome this ambitious move from the European Commission to build a long-term policy and legislative framework to directly support families in reconciling their work, family, care and personal life”, says Annemie Drieskens, President. “The work life balance package is a major step towards the achievement of a reconciliation society and economy”.
COFACE acknowledges the comprehensiveness of the package, using a holistic and life-cycle approach covering three essential dimensions: Resources, Services and Time. In our assessment, we analyse the different measures (legislative and non-legislative) following this R-S-T approach, and put forward some suggestions for further action. We call on all key stakeholders to ensure follow-up of the measures of the Work-Life Balance Package for a lasting impact for families and real implementation of some of the key principles outlined in the European Pillar of Social Rights.
Many European citizens are getting disengaged from the European dream and project, feeling they have lost in the race of globalisation and seek responses to anti-european sentiments. This is a consequence of the fact the European Union has forgotten, in these last years, its human face, its ambition to go beyond finance and economic integration and build a real Social Europe. We welcomed the European Pillar of Social Rights and we think that this Work-Life Balance initiative is a first concrete example of how good intentions can become reality. There is no more time for words, it is now time for action.