Commenting on European Commission’s ‘European Semester Winter Package’, Katja Lehto-Komulainen, Deputy General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation said:
“The ETUC welcomes the European Commission calling for more investment, acknowledging that real household income remains below pre-crisis levels in some EU countries, and asking EU Member States to step up their action to make economic growth benefit all citizens. We also welcome the priority given to investing in skills.
“It is disappointing that very little reference is made to the need to increase wages despite numerous mentions of the need to tackle inequality.
“EU economic policy-making is slowly moving in the right direction, away from the disastrous over-emphasis on austerity and wage restraint. But the EU is still some way from getting it right, and a major obstacle is the failure of member state governments to properly involve employers and trade unions in the process.
“The real test is whether the country specific recommendations in May include actual recommendations to raise public investment and to enable unions and employers to agree wage increases or whether there is the same old emphasis on cutting public spending and making reforms at the expense of workers.”