Politics & Economics

The effects of Letta’s report on the social dimension: the interlinkage between economic and social levels

June 2024
By Editorial Staff

Letta’s report, “Much More Than a Market,” was investigated during the Social Policy Council held on June 20th. Enrico Letta made some significant remarks on the labor market, as well as on social policies, which needed to be discussed in the meeting. How can we implement the interlinkages between economic and social policies?

The Single Market report

“A strong social dimension in the EU Single Market promotes inclusive prosperity, ensuring fair opportunities, workers’ rights, and social protection for all, while contributing to growth and competitiveness. It reinforces the European Union’s commitment to solidarity, reducing inequalities, and promoting the well-being of all citizens, in line with the values of the European Pillar of Social Rights for a cohesive, people-centered Union,” stated former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta in his report.

In order to achieve this, Letta has established a number of priorities, giving central importance to the “freedom to stay“, complementing the “freedom to move”. “Free movement is a valuable asset, but it should be a choice, not a necessity”. The freedom to stay means that people should not feel compelled to leave their home countries in search of better conditions. This requires policies to tackle regional imbalances, including the provision of a strong EU cohesion policy and other funding instruments and technical assistance to regions stagnating, in decline, and/or suffering from brain drain and depopulation. Moreover, the report calls for support mechanisms for EU citizens returning to their home countries after working abroad and puts forward a proposal to introduce a special EU regime for digital cross-border workers.

According to the Council

During the Council, ministers debated the social dimension of the market and recognized the importance of creating a sustainable single market for all. Priorities were set out, such as the request for equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age, or sexual orientation in the areas of social protection (including social security and healthcare), social advantages, education, and access to goods and services (including housing), as well as the reinforced quality framework for traineeships. The La Hulpe Declaration, which assesses the pillar as the compass guiding the work on employment, social, and equality policy areas, was also discussed.