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Going local works: Cities implementing the social pillar

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Across Europe, over 40% of unemployed people have been out of work and looking for a job for more than a year, increasing their risk of poverty, social exclusion and inequalities. Today, Madrid became the first city to pledge its support to the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Madrid pledged action on principle 4 ‘active support to employment’ and principle 11 ‘childcare and support to children’. Marta Higueras, first deputy mayor of Madrid, said:

“Active inclusion means enabling every citizen to participate in society. Given that more than half the principles of the European Pillar on Social Rights, including the one on ‘active support to employment’, must take effect at local level, we need to share our knowledge of how to do this. In Madrid, we invest over €20 million annually in training and work experience programmes that reach more than 3,000 long term unemployed people, aiming to bring them back into the labour market. However, we need a stronger partnership between cities and other levels of governments to make sure the social pillar really helps deliver on employment and social inclusion in Europe.”

Cities and representatives from the European institutions exchanged learning points and committed to fight long term unemployment in our cities by working through the social pillar and the European Council recommendations. During this mutual learning event, organised as part of our work on social rights, Maria João Rodrigues MEP said:

“We need the support of cities to ensure European ambitions of a more social Europe have a meaningful impact on people’s lives. The European Pillar of Social Rights aims to overcome challenges of social exclusion and poverty by improving employment services and supporting skills development, but it will only succeed through concrete actions at local level.”

Rodrigues signalled her support for this EUROCITIES initiative on showing local commitment in guaranteeing social rights for all, by handing over a symbolic copy of the social pillar.

EUROCITIES is working to build political momentum amongst its members to grow the number of pledges supporting the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Cities have already taken action in recent years by collaborating through the EUROCITIES Declaration on work, to create conditions for more and better jobs, and to make labour markets more inclusive. By committing to the principles of the social pillar, EUROCITIES mayors and deputy mayors are taking the next steps to ensure equal opportunities and greater prosperity for all citizens.


Notes to the editor

1. EUROCITIES is the political platform for major European cities. We network the local governments of over 140 of Europe’s largest cities and more than 40 partner cities that between them govern some 130 million citizens across 39 countries.

2. The cities represented at this mutual learning event were: Barcelona, Ghent, Gijon, Lille métropole, Madrid, Milan, Nantes, Seville, Terassa, Tirana, Utrecht, Valladolid.

3. The EUROCITIES Declaration on work demonstrates that Europe’s major cities are drivers of sustainable and inclusive economic development that achieve results for people.

4. The EUROCITIES social affairs forum will take place in Stuttgart from 22-24 October.

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