Making social rights a reality: the commitment of cities to deliver on European Pillar for Social Rights


Despite the European Union’s economic growth, EU is facing raising social challenges. Beside the income inequalities, new forms of inequalities are emerging as a result of technological change and ageing society. The European Pillar for Social Rights (EPSR), which was the result of the call for action made by the European Parliament, aims at better fulfilling and implementing the social rights of Europeans. EUROCITIES is launching the online campaign ‘Inclusive cities for all: Social Rights in my city’ focused on showing the commitment of cities in delivering positive social impact on citizens’ lives, by implementing the principles of EPSR.

Making social rights a reality

EUROCITIES is preparing a campaign to show the cities’ concrete contribution on a more cohesive and inclusive Europe starting from local level. EUROCITIES mayors and deputy mayors are invited to pledge on the principles of European Pillar for Social Rights by providing their commitment and initiatives designed to respond to current and future challenges.

In 2019, for 12 months we will showcase the local impact of 12 innovative practices, on 12 principles of EPSR in 12 cities from Europe.

Madrid the first city to join the campaign

On 27 September, Madrid was the first city joining EUROCITIES campaign on social rights.  The city has signed a pledge to principle 4 ‘active support to employment’ and principle 11 ‘childcare and support to children’ committing to:

  • reduce long-term unemployment in Madrid, by further investing 20 million to reach another 3,000 beneficiaries with particular focus on senior talent and experienced workers;

  • build 13 more nursery schools next year and further increase the nursery school placements by 10% by 2020, improving access to those from low-income or diverse backgrounds.

Marta Higueras, first deputy mayor of Madrid said “we have to invest more in people, but to do so, cities need to have more competences at local level. We must reflect on what would be the next step towards delivering more for our citizens’. 

The siging moment was market by a symbolic exchange of the pledge and the Pillar of Social Rights, between the first deputy mayor and the member of European Parliament, Maria Joao Rodrigues.

Maria Joao Rodrigues, MEP said “cities are the places that face the reality, where citizen live, where they have jobs and where they interact. The European investment plans have to reflect the needs of the cities."

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.

Please find below Madrid's pledge to European Pillar for Social Rights and the press release. 

   Press release Madrid Pledge to EPSRdownload/preview this file
    Madrid Pledge to EPSRdownload/preview this file

EUROCITIES staff contact

Bianca Faragau-TavaresSenior policy advisor

EUROCITIES staff contact

Patricia Couti