a) What Member States and social partners can do
Each Member State retains the right to define the fundamental principles of its social security system. To give effect to the Pillar, Member States are invited to update their rules concerning the provision of unemployment cash benefits in addition to transposing and enforcing rules adopted at Union level.
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 sign agreements which may be implemented at Union level at their request 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.
b) Recent and ongoing initiatives at EU level
The Commission is presenting together with the European Pillar of Social Rights a first-stage consultation of the social partners on an initiative concerning "Access to Social Protection",(106) in order to address varying access to social protection by workers in standard employment and people employed on non-standard contracts and in various forms of self-employment. The consultation will address the access to unemployment benefits and to employment services.
The Commission will continue to support negotiations on the proposal presented in December 2016 for amending Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the coordination of social security systems and Regulation (EC) No 987/2009 laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council. (107) This proposal extends the minimum period for which an unemployed person can request unemployment benefits while searching for a job in another Member State from three to six months.
The European Network of Employment Services (PES Network) is implementing the Benchlearning project, aiming to improve the PES' performance, linking indicator-based benchmarking with mutual learning in order to better address the active support to job seekers.