Commenting on the Statement of the Members of the European Council on 25 March 2021, Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) said:
“We appreciate the efforts put in place by the EU and Member States to provide vaccines to the whole population in a reasonable time, and to make pharmaceutical companies accountable, but we reiterate our demand to the EU to push for waivers on patents and to Member States to guarantee priority to essential workers and vulnerable groups of people.
“We welcome the fact that leaders have underlined the need to guarantee fair working conditions in the digital economy, and we demand that Member States commit to the implementation of EU and national legal frameworks ensuring fair working conditions in practice and universal access to social rights, social protection and emergency employment protection measures to platform workers and all non-standard and self-employed workers.
“We demand that leaders commit to the full implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights at the upcoming Porto Social Summit, make sure that the social dimension is an integral part of the Recovery and Resilience Plans, of the EU economic governance and of the Conference on the Future of Europe.
“Finally, we regret that, because of economic interests and to keep migrants and asylum seekers outside the EU, the Council still grants credit to the Turkish government, that is continuing attacking human rights, workers and trade union rights in Turkey.
“In particular, it is shameful that the EU didn’t condemn the withdrawal of Turkey from the Istanbul Convention on violence against women (which is not even ratified by all EU countries) and the inhuman conditions in which migrants and asylum seekers are kept in Turkey.”