ESN calls for an enhanced monitoring of the implementation of the principles in the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Last December, the European Commission kicked off the new European Semester cycle by publishing the Autumn Package*. The European Semester is the annual cycle of policy coordination used by the European Commission to analyse economic and budgetary policies in member states and provide recommendations for future reforms. ESN has been analysing the European Semester since 2014, through a Reference Group which represents local public social services. In 2020, the Group will continue to provide the Commission with feedback from local public social services on social policies.

The Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy (ASGS) is the European Commission’s main tool for setting out the economic and social priorities for the EU for the following year. The 2020 ASGS places sustainable growth at the heart of the EU’s policymaking, in line with the priorities enshrined in the European Green Deal, the European Commission’s new growth strategy.

ESN welcomes the new European Commission’s priority to transform the EU into a sustainable economy and to ensure a just transition for the most vulnerable in our societies. ESN particularly welcomes the focus on the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the UN Sustainable Development Goals to ensure that the transition protects people in vulnerable life situations and guarantee equal opportunities for all. However, monitoring the implementation of the Pillar should include all 20 social rights by increasing the number of indicators of the social scoreboard.

Levels of poverty and social exclusion in Europe remain high, especially among children and young people, as seen in the Joint Employment Report*. Our members have statutory duties towards vulnerable people along the life cycle and are the main actors in the implementation of the Pillar at the local level. Throughout 2020 ESN will focus on target groups still facing high levels of social exclusion, monitoring that sustainable growth benefits ALL European citizens, leaving no one behind.

*The 2020 Autumn Package includes the following documents: the Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy, the Joint Employment Report, the Alert Mechanism Report, and the Euro area recommendation.


ESN (2019). Social Services for Social Europe. European Semester 2020.

ESN (2016). Towards a people’s Europe. ESN’s response to the Consultation on the European Pillar of Social Rights.

ESN. Reference Group on the European Semester.

European Semester Autumn Package 2020

European Green Deal

European Pillar of Social Rights