ETUC sets 10 social tests for the Irish Presidency

Brussels, 13/01/2004

An ETUC delegation comprised of the President, Candido Mendez, General Secretary, John Monks, and the General Secretary of the ICTU, David Begg, will today meet the Taoiseach and put to him the ETUC's positions on key European questions.

On the occasion of this meeting, a 10 point plan will be presented. In particular, the ETUC is encouraging the Irish Presidency to kickstart moves to establish a new constitution with a strong social dimension and also to put economic growth at the centre of its work over the next six months.

General Secretary, John Monks, said: “The Irish Presidency is making a good start in picking up the main European questions after the EU's bad year in 2003. Ireland must now focus ruthlessly on two key priorities - anchoring a new constitution as soon as possible with social rights which can re-energise the support and enthusiasm of working people for the European project. Europe cannot just be a single market and single currency. It must help workers cope with, and adapt to, change and the constitution should uphold workers rights.

And also, the Presidency, must get to grips with the economic malaise affecting much of Europe and lead the drive for a new, more growth-oriented Stability and Growth Pact, or, at the very least, a more expansive interpretation of the existing Pact. Europe cannot keep relying on export-led growth to the USA. In any event, the fall in the value of the dollar makes that an unlikely prospect. The aim should be to have a “Made in Europe” period of growth.”

Trade Union Memorandum to the Irish Presidency