European Semester Spring Package 2017

Commenting on the ‘country specific reports’ issued by the European Commission today, ETUC Deputy General Secretary Katja Lehto Komulainen said 

It is progress that the European Commission is calling for more public investment and higher wages in some countries including Germany. It is very damaging for the Commission to be pressing again for yet more austerity and budget cuts in other countries, and to limit pay rises and increased public investment to countries with budget surpluses is a real missed opportunity.

“Europe needs more public investment and pay rises for working people across the whole European Union for the recovery to be felt by its people. A European Treasury would be one way to increase investment.

“It is positive that the European Commission is calling for action to tackle precarious work in some countries including Spain and Portugal, and on Romania and Bulgaria to establish a transparent mechanism for minimum wage-setting in consultation with employers and trade unions. But it is worrying that minimum wages are dealt with so negatively for Portugal, France and Estonia.

“The European Commission’s focus on adequacy of pensions and health assistance, on inequalities and progressive tax systems, on skills and access to education are all steps forward. But there is still a long way to go before EU economic policy is truly promoting inclusive growth and tackling inequality.”