European citizens and workers need a strong social dimension

Brussels, 2013

The European Council of June 2013 will focus on the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). The European Council of December 2012 already announced its intention to strengthen both the social dimension and the social dialogue aspects of the EMU.

The ETUC welcomes the European Council’s intention to discuss these pressing issues. This will require specific attention and, possibly, specific action. On the basis of the already proposed Social Compact for Europe the ETUC will further develop its contribution in the context of this debate.

“The EU must respond to this social emergency ! Indeed, it is essential to provide a social dimension in order to change things fundamentally and to restore citizens’ and workers’ trust in the European project and in its future potential. It is also key for democracy.”

For the European Trade Union, it is essential that there is a social dimension to the EU. Indeed, there is a clear link between a strong social model and economic prosperity.

The European Council of June 2013 should address the social emergency

At its meeting in Brussels on 5 March 2013, the ETUC Executive Committee adopted a declaration on the necessity for the EMU to have a social dimension. This first reflexion has been developed in a position,at its meeting in April, to contribute to the roadmap to be discussed during the June 2013 European Council.

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

- ETUC Declaration, March 2013 :

- ETUC Position, April 2013 :

The Social Dimension of the EU: Interview with Bernadette Ségol

The ETUC Social Compact for Europe puts solidarity at the heart of priorities

In June 2012, the Executive Committee of the ETUC unanimously called for a “Social Compact for Europe” which sets the ETUC key concerns and priorities.

These priorities are based on the reinforcement of quality jobs, social dialogue, improvement of social protection and public services as well as stronger industrial relations.

“Austerity is a failure. It has not succeeded in reducing deficits and is having a devastating social and economic effect. Applied in a deteriorating economic context, this blind austerity has only worsened the situation. It has widened inequalities and further increased the loss of job security”.

The Social Compact for Europe puts the social dimension back at the heart of the debate and proposes another vision for Europe: one of solidarity rather than one of social regression and deregulation. The European social model should be seen as a source of support and not as an obstacle to competitiveness and growth.

- Social compact in different languages: