European Summit – what we got

Last week the ETUC issued a short statement ‘European Summit - What trade unions expect’

But what did the Summit actually deliver for workers?


What we asked for

What we got

Comment of ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini

Brexit - to ensure it is not the start of the break-up of the European Union, and to

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.



A statement saying ‘Access to the single market requires acceptance of all four freedoms’; acknowledging peoples’ discontent with the EU, and the need to deliver on jobs and growth and hope for a better future, not least for the young; and a decision to start a reflection on further reforms.     

“Defending the four freedoms sends a clear signal to the UK and others, and acknowledging peoples’ discontent and to need for reform to create jobs and hope is long overdue.  Investment and quality jobs is what Europe needs. Reducing Europe to a free trade zone would be the absolutely wrong response and I am encouraged that this was not the outcome.”   

Migration - Suspension of the EU-Turkey deal (following reports that Turkish border guards have shot 60 refugees this year); 

Member States to implement the relocation of 60,000 refugees, and make far better use of the EU’s €3bn AMIF fund. 


Nothing. Not even any expression of concern about the shooting of refugees, the drowning of refugees or the humanitarian situation of refugees.  


“The EU cannot simply pay Turkey and other poorer countries to keep refugees out of Europe. Over refugees Europe is losing its humanity and it is shameful to witness.”  

National Productivity Boards ETUC opposed but acknowledged they were  likely-to-be-adopted.



Council adopted the proposal to set up National Productivity Boards.

“The EU does not need new institutions to monitor member states’ performance, as this is already done in the EU semester. These boards will be at best useless and at worst very damaging.”

Country Specific Recommendations The ETUC welcomed the stronger focus on social and employment policies in CSRs, but regretted that they criticise the minimum wage in France and Portugal; and were silent on too-low minimum wages in the Baltic States and SE Europe.


Council adopted the CSRs without change or comment in the conclusions.


“If the EU really is going to deliver on jobs and growth it needs to radically change its CSRs next year. The recommendations will need to focus on investment and collective bargaining for wage increases.”