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SSE Reaction to the Social Convergence Framework of the European Semester

Brussels, 31st May 2023

SSE expresses its support for the introduction of a Social Convergence Framework in the European Semester as it aims to strengthen the social dimension of the EU Semester and support upward social convergence.

Additional reflections and proposals by SSE for adaptations/improvement to make the Social Convergence Framework work to its full extent – knowing that the key messages reflect a compromise and that a different wording might have meant that certain paragraphs or sentences would have needed to be taken out

  • Whereas the analysis conducted in the Commission Services’ new ‘Social Convergence Reports’ would be based on wide quantitative and qualitative evidence, there is no reference made yet in the Key Messages regarding the involvement/consultation/participation of civil society organisations in gathering that evidence. For SSE, such a participatory element, however, would need to be introduced for the Commission Services to obtain additional evidence from the ground and CSO-based policy reform proposals.

  • For SSE, the non-binding nature of analyses presented or of conclusions based on the Social Convergence Framework would reduce its (potential) impact.

  • SSE sees the risk that without political commitment and a participatory approach the introduction of the Social Convergence Framework and related analyses could add another layer of a more bureaucratic exercise without bringing about real changes towards upwards social convergence in the EU MS.

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