a) What Member States and Social Partners can do
Member States are in charge of transposing and enforcing rules adopted at Union level. Given that the Union measures set out above contain minimum standards, Member States are invited to go beyond these rules in order to give effect to the provisions of the Pillar.
At Union level, social partners are to be consulted in accordance with Article 154 TFEU on possible initiatives based on Article 153 TFEU and may request implementation of their agreements at Union level in accordance with Article 155 TFEU. Social partners may also collect and exchange good practices across the Union. At national level, social partners may support the implementation of this Principle via collective bargaining and through their involvement in the design and implementation of relevant policies.
The EU social partners at cross-industry level selected reconciliation of work, private and family life as a priority for their current work programme 2015-2017.
b) Recent and ongoing initiatives at EU level
The Commission is presenting together with the European Pillar of Social Rights the "New start to support Work-Life Balance for parents and carers" initiative.(79) It proposes legislative and policy actions aiming to facilitate the uptake of parental leave by both women and men, to introduce the paternity leave and the carers' leave, to promote the use of flexible working arrangements, as well as to provide more and better child and other care facilities and remove economic disincentives such as tax-benefit disincentives, which discourage second-earners, often women, from entering the labour market.
Eurofound, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions and the European Institute for Gender Equality, two of the EU's decentralised agencies, are supporting the work of the Commission, Member States and social partners in the area of work-life balance, quality of life and public services.