Urgent message of the ETUC Executive Committee to the European Council of the 8-9 December 2011

Brussels, 07/12/2011

The European Trade Union Confederation Executive Committee wishes to send you a strong and urgent message in the context of the European Council discussion of changes in the Lisbon Treaty.

It is the future of citizens, and not the opinion of rating agencies, to which your concerns must be directed. Your common political leadership is essential to prevent a collapse of our economies, recession, mass unemployment and social unrest. Don’t stifle growth and jobs. Don’t imprison EU countries in an economic straitjacket.

This is not the right solution towards returning to sound budgets.
Treaty change must follow a fully democratic process. In no event can it be disguised into a technical exercise. The European Trade Union Confederation demands to be fully involved in the process leading to any Treaty changes.

There can be no quick fix to the Treaty that will not lead to further disillusion among our citizens towards our political institutions. Immediate solutions can and must be found to meet the existential threat the European Union faces.

The European Union project will unite Europeans if it has the objectives and the means to be a tool for social progress. This includes respect and promotion of fundamental social rights, including trade union rights and the autonomy of negotiation. Social Europe must be developed hand in hand with economic integration.

The European Trade Union Confederation demands the inclusion of a social progress protocol in any revised Treaty.

We invite the Prime Minister of the next Presidency to meet all European Trade Union leaders early January on European Trade Union Confederation concerns and proposals.

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