Vanhercke B. and Sabato S.
OSE Paper Series, Opinion Paper No. 29, Brussels: European Social Observatory, 2022, 12 p.
This Opinion paper argues that the EU social toolbox should be significantly strengthened, including by setting-up a ‘Social Imbalances Procedure’ (SIP). The paper reconstructs the key steps and main issues in the debate on a possible SIP that took place at the institutional level between spring 2021 and autumn 2022. This debate – involving the Social Affairs (EPSCO) Council formation and its advisory committees – recently led to the creation of an ad hoc SIP Working Group. The SIP, we believe, has a fair chance of being adopted, but its scope is undecided until this date. While a majority of Member States seem in favour of the idea, a strong minority remains opposed to it. Against this background, we call on EU and national institutional and societal actors committed to strengthening ‘Social Europe’ to take a stance and act in support of an ambitious – as opposed to watered-down – future SIP.