ETUC to fight double cut in EU social spending

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) will oppose a potential double cut in European Social Fund (ESF) spending in the EU budget  2021-2027.

The European Commission’s ESF proposals published today, its Cohesion Policy proposals published yesterday and the overall EU budget 2021-2027 proposals, include

  • An overall cut in Cohesion Policy spending, and a reduction of ESF funding estimated as being between 3 and 10%
  • Scrapping the 23% minimum share of Cohesion Policy Funding which has to be spent by the member states in ESF projects
  • Reducing the involvement of employers and trade unions in ESF programming and reducing ESF support for social dialogue through capacity building of employer and trade union organisations

Thiébaut Weber, ETUC Confederal Secretary said “The European Commission cannot be serious about the EU budget helping to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights if it proposes to cut ESF funding and scrap the minimum share of ESF in Cohesion spending.

“The ETUC will vigorously fight this threatened double whammy of cuts in social spending.

“Once again social policy is being treated as the poor cousin of other EU policies. So much for triple A social Europe. There is a yawning gap between what the Commission says is important and where it plans to put EU money.

“We will be looking to the Parliament and Council to reinsert social spending to its proper levels. We will also be talking to MEPs and Ministers about the importance of capacity building for employers organisations and trade unions as this is vital for industrial relations and collective agreements that can boost productivity, tackle gender pay gaps, deal with restructuring issues, improve training and skills and ensure the pay rises that Europe’s recovery so desperately needs.”