Social Platform on the constitution

Crowd of Shoppers, Blackett Street, Newcastle upon Tyne (picture

In comparison with the existing Treaties, the Constitution has included new values, notably human dignity, equality, the rights of minorities and the characterization of the values upheld by the societies of the Member States (pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men)

What is new in this article is the specific provisions applying to the “Member States whose currency is the euro”. For this Member States “The Union shall take measures to ensure coordination of the employment policies” and “may take initiatives to ensure coordination of Member States’ social policies”.

The role of the social partners is set out, for the first time, in the Constitution. Article I-48 states that the European Union recognises and promotes the role of the social partners, facilitating dialogue between them and respecting their autonomy. It also reiterates the role of the Tripartite Social Summit for Growth and Employment in contributing to social dialogue.

Furthermore, three new specific clauses have been added to the list, covering:

  • Measures to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation;
  • Animal welfare (which is currently covered by the Protocol on the protection and welfare of animals annexed to the existing treaties);
  • The promotion of a high level of employment, guaranteeing adequate social protection, the fight against social exclusion, and a high level of education, training and health protection.

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