A new package of social policy proposals has by and large been welcomed by the Parliament but some MEPs say it lacks precision and substance.
The European Commission said it is aimed at sharing, strengthening and coordinating Europe’s social and economic goals “to people’s benefit”.
Socialist MEP Alain Hutchinson was disappointed:
“We had asked for guarantees on education, culture, health, some areas we believe come under European protection for people. We only have a legislative proposal. We don’t have any communication, and it’s entirely inadequate.”
Quoted in a parliament press release, Gabriele Zimmer of the GUE/NGL group said,“the package in no way fulfils citizens’ expectations”.
Conservative Philip Bushill-Matthews shared his doubts about the proposal:
“The importance of SMEs (small and medium enterprises): there’s not enough attention paid to the role that they play, both as employers and indeed in some cases of the largest number of employees in any particular country. We’ve got to listen to the voices of small people and of real people rather than just of big business and big trade unions.”
Fellow conservative Joseph Daul welcomed the Commission’s proposals, but noted that social policy is still decided largely by the EU member government, and said this must change.