European Spring will fight for worker power. Millions of people in Europe today cannot find work, and millions more can only access low-pay, precarious jobs. We believe that all people are entitled to a decent job with strong protections against exploitation. We also believe that every person is entitled to a decent standard of living. European citizens have a fundamental right to solidarity, and the EU must honour it.
We will propose a Workers Compact to reinforce worker rights across Europe. The Compact will introduce new European minimum wage legislation that includes criteria for the convergence of wages across Europe, applying especially to member-states where there are no collective agreements.
It will create a new EU working standard, with a maximum of 35 hours of work per week and a minimum of 35 days of vacation leave per year. And it will fund a new all-European Work Inspection Agency that will coordinate and monitor member-state institutions to oversee employers’ compliance to labour laws and fair treatment of employees.
The crisis of child poverty in Europe is severe: a quarter of all children are experiencing or at risk of poverty and social exclusion. European Spring will introduce a Plan to eradicate Child Poverty that will commit more resources from the European Social Fund to guarantee access to healthcare, housing, nutrition, and education to every child. The Plan will place a target for child poverty reduction in the 2020 Strategy and call for close monitoring of member-state progress in the European Semester.
Decent housing is a human right, yet millions of families in Europe live in substandard conditions and at risk of eviction.
We are calling for all European countries to come to a multilateral agreement to fund and guarantee decent housing to every European resident. In addition, we will introduce a number of new regulations to fight gentrification, displacement, and tenure insecurity.
We are calling for a harmonised systemof tenant protections, including limits on rent inflation, minimum tenancies, and protections against evictions. We will introduce a Europe-wide housing standard that directs resources from the European Social Fund toward the renovation of inadequate social housing. And we will reclaim vacant buildings in high-demand areas for housing the homeless.
We will set up a Citizen Wealth Fund that is owned collectively by the European public. This portfolio will include assets purchased by centralbanks, a percentage of capital stock from initial public offerings (IPOs), and revenues from intellectual property rights, among others.
Each year, the Fund will distribute a Universal Citizen Dividend that allows each and every citizen to enjoy the fruits of economic activity. The proposed Dividend is independent of social assistance payments, unemployment insurance, and other welfare programmes.
We believe that the dividend is the first step toward the creation of a universal basic income, which can provide freedom and dignity to all Europeans, regardless of employment status.
We call on all European countries to reach a multilateral agreement to guarantee decent jobs for all European residents who seek one. The Jobs Guarantee will empower local authorities to employ millions of people in useful jobs, and it will provide wages to millions of workers in areas like social care that are currently unpaid. Through this Jobs Guarantee, we can end the twin crisis of unemployment and forced migration in Europe.
We are proposing a significant expansion to the EU Cohesion Fund inorder to support underdeveloped regions of the European Union. We aim to devolve cohesion funding from the member-state level, providing funds to localities in need and empowering them to invest in local services.
We will also expand the remit of the EU Cohesion Fund to include investment in housing, health, and other social facilities.
We are proposing a plan to bring firms under partial control of the workers they employ. Our plan will support medium-to-large companies to create Worker Ownership Funds that distribute an annual percentage of their shares to their employees.
Such funds will not only provide annual dividends to workers. They will also increase workers’ say over company decisions as shareholders. As such, they are an important steptoward democratizing the European economy.
We will fight to change the balance of power between workers and management in European firms. We will introduce legislation that strips corporate bonuses and strictly regulates executive pay, bringing it within a multiple of the lowest paid employee. And we will guarantee that company boards include directors that are directly elected by the workers themselves, giving greater representation to workers’ interests in corporate governance.
We propose a European Healthcare Standard to commit EU member-states, in collaboration with the EU, to rapid improvement of healthcare provision. The standard will be defined as a basket of minimum healthcare services, with targets for healthcare investment in Member States and special provisions for historically marginalized groups and disabledpeople. We will direct funds from the EU budget to support regions that struggle to reach those standards.
Please find all our policies as PDF here.