ETUC Executive Committee meets to agree a way forward following the referendums on the EU Constitution
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) Executive Committee meets in Brussels on 14-15 June at a time of crisis in the EU, following the referendums on the Constitution in France and the Netherlands.
Trade union leaders will be looking for a constructive way forward, which takes account of the message delivered by European voters. The Committee is likely to call for a period of reflection and consultation, and for EU leaders to take the time to understand fully the lessons of the referendums and the wishes of their citizens.
But the ETUC is also expecting EU leaders to stand firm behind the European project, and not - as some seem tempted to do - to exploit current difficulties for their own domestic interests, or to leave a vacuum that allows anti-European groups to destabilise the entire future of the Union.
It gives the ETUC little satisfaction to note that it warned EU leaders months ago of the growing disaffection among working people at the direction the EU was taking, and the failure of governments to address their concerns.
The Executive Committee will be aiming to agree strong and concrete proposals to go to the summit of European leaders in Brussels at the end of the week, and to convey them forcefully to EU Commissioners Vladimir Špidla (Employment) and Günter Verheugen (Industry), who will be present at the Committee meeting.
Also on the agenda of the Executive Committee are proposals for the new EU budget including the controversy over the UK rebate, restoring confidence in European economies, restructuring and employment, the social partners’ work programme until 2010, and the EU’s Sustainable Development Strategy.
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