Declaration of the Executive Committee on the proposed roadmap for a social dimension of the EMU, including social dialogue

Brussels, 05/03/2013

The ETUC considers that the proposal to discuss a social dimension of the EMU is too restrictive. Our commitment to the process of European integration depends on the fact that Europe is not a free trade zone, but an area whose objectives are economic and social progress. Therefore a discussion on the social dimension of the EMU is only acceptable if it triggers social progress in the whole of the European Union.

ETUC opposes current austerity policies. They are implemented to the detriment of working people and citizens who have been made the variable of adjustment. This is not acceptable. These policies are also counterproductive and are having a negative impact on the EU’s economy. The financial sector has been saved, at an unsustainable cost. There can be no social dimension whether in the EU or in the EMU without a change in these policies. The ETUC will continue to mobilise towards that end.

ETUC considers that a roadmap on the social dimension of the EMU, in the framework of increased policy coordinations should aim at upward convergence to deal with inequalities, poverty, unemployment and precarious work that are ethically unacceptable and are creating a social emergency. There can be no sustainable economic governance and coordination of policies if these injustices are not addressed.

ETUC demands new large scale investment plans equal to at least 1 % of EU GDP annually to promote sustainable growth and jobs. The current MFF proposals are a retrograde step and totally inadequate to meet our objectives.

The ETUC strongly underlines that social partners must be included and fully involved on an equal footing in the debate about the design of new coordination instruments. There should be effective guarantees at all stages that trade union rights and fundamental rights will be respected and promoted, particularly the autonomy of collective bargaining.

Contractual arrangements in the form of memoranda have been put in place undemocratically and have imposed the wrong policy mix. They infringe collective agreements, industrial relations and social dialogue. This should not apply to any contractual arrangement. Financial support has been made conditional for such contractual arrangements. The ETUC opposes this unfair and undemocratic approach.

On the basis of the Social Compact it has already proposed, the ETUC will further develop its position and press its policies in the context of the debate on the social dimension of the EU and EMU.