European Summit - What trade unions expect

European Council

UK referendum

The ETUC calls for Brexit vote to be a wake-up call to the EU to offer workers a better deal.

Specifically, the ETUC calls for decisive action to 

  • ensure this is not the start of the break-up of the European Union, and does not damage jobs and workers’ rights.
  • tackle working people’s deep discontent in the EU by creating a fairer and more equal society, investing in quality jobs, good public services and real opportunities for young people.

Migration

The ETUC calls for

  • Suspension of the EU-Turkey deal following reports that Turkish border guards have shot 60 refugees at the frontier this year;  
  • EU Member States to implement the relocation of 60,000 refugees, agreed a year ago, and make far better use of the EU’s underused €3bn AMIF fund.  

The ETUC regrets that, instead, the Council is expected to seek Turkey-style deals with other countries in a vain attempt to keep refugees out of Europe.   

Jobs, growth & investment

The ETUC opposes the likely-to-be-adopted proposal to set up National Productivity Boards.

This proposal, thankfully watered down by ministers, will at best be irrelevant, and at worst very damaging.  

The ETUC has welcomed the stronger focus than in previous years on social and employment policies in the Country Specific Recommendations, to be adopted by the Council. But we regret that the CSRs:

  • wrongly criticise the minimum wage in France and Portugal and wage-setting systems and employment protection in Belgium;  
  • are shamefully silent on too-low minimum wages in the Baltic States and South Eastern Europe.