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EFSI releases its Statement on La Hulpe Declaration

EFSI welcomes the Declaration but regrets that it did not prioritize the care sector in the long-term policy agenda.

At the High-Level Conference on the European Pillar of Social Rights, organised on 15 and 16 April 2024 by the Belgian presidency of the EU, most of the Member States, social partners and representatives of institutions in attendance signed the La Hulpe Declaration on the Future of the European Pillar of Social Rights. Its aim, as the Belgian presidency explains, “is to prepare the future social agenda of the 2024-2029 period and to reconfirm the European Pillar of Social Rights as the EU social policy compass for years to come”.

The declaration, endorsed by the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee, European cross-sectoral social partners, and representatives from 25 EU Member States, focuses on the continued implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. It emphasizes the need to revise the action plan in 2025 and achieve the 2030 Porto targets, aligning them with the current socio-economic context. 

On the topic, EFSI issued a Statement welcoming the Declaration’s emphasis on fostering work-life balance and promoting gender equality. Recognizing care services as vital means to achieve these goals, EFSI stressed the importance of access to domestic and home care services in increasing women's labor market participation and economic independence. However, EFSI expressed regret that the Declaration did not prioritize the care sector in the long-term policy agenda, despite the presidency's slogan of 'Europe that cares, prepares, protects'. 

Overall, in its Statement, EFSI voiced concerns that the Declaration lacked ambition in proposing new initiatives and specific measures to address challenges facing different sub-sectors of the care field