ETUC calls on European Summit to decide on emergency action and a New Green Deal
The economic and social crisis will be on the top of the agenda of the upcoming European Council on 11–12 December. In a letter to the heads of governments, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) urges European leaders to take emergency action to stop the downwards spiral as well as to end ‘casino capitalism’ and base growth and jobs on sustainable investment, fair wages and distributive justice.
Said John Monks, ETUC General Secretary: ‘The economy is already in the grip of recession and we are facing the prospect of a prolonged economic depression. We can not afford a “wait and see” attitude, nor another sup ply side reform policy that weakens workers’ rights and wages. Social recession as well as economic catastrophe would follow this.’
We need short term emergency action to prevent the economy from going into a downwards tailspin. At the same time, we also need to take structural measures: we need a New Green Deal, fair wages and distributive justice to stop basing growth and jobs on speculation and asset price bubbles.
ETUC sees the Commission’s European Recovery Plan as a good starting point and calls on Member States to take a serious engagement for implementing a 1.2% of GDP stimulus.
At the same time, ETUC regrets that the European dimension of the Commission’s recovery plan is extremely limited. Therefore, ETUC calls on the Council to transform the Commission’s Recovery plan into a truly European one.
Europe needs to increase the demand-side action coming from the European level, to secure finance for national stimulus and to provide workers with a New Wage Deal by strengthening collective bargaining in order to avoid a new round of ‘beggar-thy-neighbour’ policies.
In an open letter sent to the European Council prior to the summit, John Monks declared: ‘A time of crisis is also a time of choice. We call upon the European Council to provide workers the clear message that only European action can get us out of this credit crunch. That only European cooperation can ensure us that such a crisis never happens again.’
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