EU needs real social investments

Brussels, 20/02/2013

The Social Investment Package is an important contribution to the debate on the social dimension of Europe and the ETUC welcomes the approach of reshaping EU governance. The Europe 2020 targets must be monitored to ensure that member states and the EU truly follow a common path to secure economic growth and social progress and cohesion. Social partners can make important contributions to achieve this.

The Social Investment Package recognises that social spending represents an investment. This is welcome. But Europe needs a real investment package to relaunch growth, employment and ensure social cohesion. The ETUC has called for an additional investment equivalent to 1% of European GDP. We therefore regret the lack of specific and additional funding to meet the EU 2020 targets.

A strategy which only proposes better use of increasingly restricted budgets is too limited. As we are already witnessing, this will only lead to greater inequalities between and in member states, and more social unrest.

2013 could be the year that marks a shift in Europe’s political orientation, when the EU institutions refocus the political debate on the social dimension of the European project. For this to happen, the EU must heed the ETUC’s long-standing demands for an end to austerity and a reversal of the misguided macroeconomic policies which have led us back to recession.