April 26, 2022

European Commissioner on Jobs and Social Rights addresses Novi Sad International Session

During the opening ceremony of the 95th International Session of the European Youth Parliament, over 200 young people were gathered in the Radnički Dom, in Novi Sad, when Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social rights, addressed the participants through a video message. The Commissioner passed on his appreciation for the hard work of the delegates, as well as stressed the importance of the topics discussed at the International Session.

The Commissioner highlighted the work of the Employment Committee at the session, which tackled remote work and surveillance. He commented on the rise of remote work during the COVID 19 pandemic, and the opportunities and challenges that it presents. The first challenge addressed was the blurring of the boundaries between work and private life, followed by employers’ digital surveillance of their employees who are working from home.

Mr. Schmit had one very clear message for all participants: “Technological progress cannot come at the expense of Europe’s strong social standards or fundamental rights”. New technologies have their uses, but too much room has been left for abuse. He called for an ambitious policy response, stating “We must give the same rights to people working from home as we give to other workers. This includes the right to decent working conditions, the right to disconnect, and the right to privacy”. Finally, he invited participants to follow the work of the European Parliament on the future of work.

The Commissioner’s message showed the relevance of the topics discussed by the Novi Sad delegates on the Future of Europe, and the challenges facing Europe today. You can see the full message below

If you want to see the results of the delegates’ hard work, you can find the Resolution Booklet, the booklet wherein all their ideas for the future of Europe are brought together, here.

This event would not be possible without our partners, among them German Savings Bank Association, European Parliament, CO-CREATE, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Visegrad Fund, Central European Initative, US Embassy in Belgrade, Mercator Foundation, European Capital of Culture and all the other partners and speakers.

This content is part of the project Young Opinions on the Future of Europe, aimed at engaging young people with the Conference on the Future of Europe and supported by the European Parliament. You can find out more about the Conference on the Future of Europe here and about EYPs engagement here.