Catalan MEP Jordi Solé has called for social rights to be a cornerstone of the European Union.
MEPs in Strasbourg have been debating plans to create a 'European Pillar of Social Rights'.
They insist that this must be more than well intentioned words, and call for a law to guarantee a core set of rights for workers.
Jordi Solé emphasised that there can be no real European project without social justice.
Speaking in the debate, Jordi Solé said:
"I hope soon to be able to speak in this plenary in my own language, Catalan.
"Social rights shouldn’t be just a pillar of the Union. They must be their foundation and their priority.
"Because there is no real European project without social justice.
"And there is no social justice without social investment, without fiscal justice, without effective redistribution, without accessible and quality public services, without decent working conditions, without a minimum of economic security, without effective right to housing, without gender equality, without opportunities for all, especially for the young.
"Probably, if the Union had long had social Europe really on its agenda, we would have better navigated through the crisis that has had such a negative impact on social cohesion in Europe, especially in certain countries, including mine, Catalonia."