The ETUC welcomes the reinforcement of EU objectives such as full employment, the reference to a social market economy and the strengthening of public services via a protocol and a legal basis. The ETUC acknowledges that the final treaty text is a step forward, yet it misses opportunities to reinforce Social Europe. In particular, trade unions are disappointed that the role of social dialogue and the social partners is only mentioned in the area of social policy. The Lisbon Treaty, once ratified, makes the Charter of Fundamental Rights legally binding, which is an important step forward. The ETUC regrets, however, that the Charter is not incorporated in the Treaty.
In particular, the ETUC regrets the British and Polish opt-out from the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Said ETUC General Secretary John Monks: “The last two years of stalemate are now behind us, and the EU has to seize the opportunity offered by the signature of the Lisbon Treaty to move forward, showing that it can deliver better results and make progress on social Europe.”
The ETUC welcomes the declaration on the European symbols signed by a majority of Member States on the basis of the German initiative. It hopes the ratification will be successful, so as to avoid any further crisis in the future.