EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

Social Scoreboard

The Social Scoreboard aims to monitor the performance of Member States in the employment and social field along the various dimensions of the European Pillar of Social Rights to check progress in its implementation.

The European Pillar of Social Rights, adopted in 2017, is designed to be a ‘compass’ by which to direct a renewed process of upward convergence towards better working and living conditions in the EU. It sets out 20 essential principles and rights in the areas of equal opportunities and access to the labour market, fair working conditions and social protection and inclusion. According to the European Council of 14 December 2017, the European Pillar of Social Rights should be implemented at both EU and Member State levels, with due regard to their respective competences. It also invited the European Commission to propose appropriate monitoring.

In response, the Commission presented the Social Scoreboard as a monitoring tool, replacing the scoreboard of key employment and social indicators agreed in 2013. The new Social Scoreboard was used for the first time to help inform and deepen the analysis in the 2018 Joint Employment Report and the indicators were used to back up the analysis of the 2018 country reports. While the indicators used do not necessarily cover all areas in the discussion on the Pillar, they shed useful light on the situation on the ground, allowing for comparisons over time and across countries.

In a communication of 13 March 2018, Monitoring the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (COM (2018) 130 final), the Commission explained that the European semester provides an appropriate tool for monitoring progress in key areas covered by the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Building on the progress achieved in recent years to strengthen the social dimension of the European Semester, the Commission has started to fine-tune existing tools and working methods to reflect the European Pillar of Social Rights since it was proclaimed. This does not require fundamental changes or the creation of new instruments, or additional administrative burden on the side of Member States.

(COM (2018) 130 final, 2018)

Therefore, as part of the European semester, three new elements were included to help monitor the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights:

  • mainstreaming the priorities of the Pillar in the European semester while selecting themes for detailed reporting on an annual basis
  • providing technical assistance, promoting benchmarking and exchanging good practices
  • assessing and monitoring performance with the help of the new Social Scoreboard

In its communication, the Commission outlined that the new EU Social Scoreboard should: i) serve as a reference framework to monitor progress towards the goal of ‘a social triple A’; ii) allow the benchmarking of successful EU outcomes with a view to improving overall performance and convergence; iii) offer, for some areas, the possibility to compare EU performance with that of other international actors; iv) play a key role to inform the work under the European semester by providing data and quantitative information.

The new Scoreboard provides a number of ‘headline indicators’ to monitor the employment and social performance of Member States along three broad dimensions, identified in the context of the Pillar: equal opportunities and access to the labour market; dynamic labour markets and fair working conditions; public support/social protection and inclusion. The Social Scoreboard includes a total of 35 indicators (including breakdowns by age, gender and education) grouped into the three dimensions and 12 areas as outlined below.

Equal opportunities and access to the labour market

Dynamic labour markets and fair working conditions

Public support, social protection and inclusion

Education, skills and lifelong learning

Labour force structure (employment and unemployment rate)

Impact of public policies on reducing poverty

Gender equality in the labour market

Labour market policies

Early childhood education and care

Income inequality

Income and salaries


‘At risk of poverty’ or social exclusion rate


Digital access and skills



In the 2018 Joint Employment Report, the Employment Committee highlighted that action is required to achieve convergence in 'societal progress' along the dimensions identified by the Social Pillar, as the analysis of headline indicators showed that 17 Member States had at least one ‘critical situation’. Across the 12 domains assessed, 42 critical situations were identified, corresponding to almost 13% of the total number of assessments.

Related dictionary terms

Equal opportunities; European semester; Social pillar; Social protection; Working conditions

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