The conference, which was held in Brussels on 23 January at the initiative of the European Commission, is considered as important step towards the establishment of a European pillar of social rights. More than 600 representatives of the Member States authorities, EU institutions and civil society discussed the results of the public consultation on the European pillar of social rights. Civil society organizations, however, were not given sufficient space for participation in panels and discussions. Although they welcome the idea of linking economic and social dimensions of the EU, representatives of the civil sector expressed caution regarding means and scope of the implementation of this policy.

The broad debate initiated by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission in September 2016  has opened a number of questions on the content and role of the Pillar in building fair, social Europe. The conference provided the European Commission to prepare a proposal of the European pillar of social rights, which is expected in March this year.

European pillar of social rights should become the framework for the employment and social policies of the Member States, as well as for the reform processes at the national level. The conference was attended by the European Anti-Poverty Network, and on behalf of the Anti-Poverty Network – Serbia participated also Marija Babovic, director of a programme at SeConS.