Social protest movements are taking place in many European countries – such as in France, Iceland, Ireland and Latvia – as Europeans find themselves paying the price of a crisis caused by unbridled speculation. The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is calling for a New Social Deal that gives priority to workers and citizens. This social agenda will have to focus on the main concerns of European citizens: employment, purchasing power and their fundamental rights.

The European trade union movement is kicking off a campaign that will include four European days of action from 14 to 16 May 2009.

This wide-ranging campaign will serve to make the governments assume their responsibility of providing European responses to this crisis, rather than simply taking case-by-case measures.

Schedule of Euro-demonstrations and practical information

For information on the route and time of the demonstrations in each of the four European capital cities, see also the practical information available on the Euro-demonstrations as well as the websites of the ETUC affiliates:

- 14 May in Madrid , Spain;
- 15 May in Brussels , Belgium;
- 16 May in Berlin , Germany – Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (DGB);
- 16 May in Prague , Czech Republic – ?eskomoravská konfederace odborových svaz? (CMKOS).


For further information regarding the demonstrations in Berlin, Brussels, Madrid and Prague, please contact the press officers of the ETUC affiliates.

ETUC Declaration

ETUC demands New Social Deal in Europe

Workers, through no fault of their own, are paying a very high price for the reckless and greedy excesses of the business world especially the banks; unemployment is soaring, precarious work and poverty are spreading, purchasing power is falling, and public debt is increasing.

ETUC is therefore on the offensive for a new social deal in Europe with the following key five point plan:

•  An expanded recovery programme to provide more and better jobs, to protect employment in key industries, to invest in new, sustainable technologies, and to maintain vital public services.

•  Better pay and pensions, stronger welfare states, higher benefits to protect the purchasing power and effective participation rights needed to boost economies.

•  An end to the recent decisions of the European Court of Justice favouring market freedoms over our fundamental rights and collective agreements by confirming the social objectives of the internal market, and guaranteeing equal treatment and equal pay for ‘posted’ migrant workers.

•  Effective regulation of financial markets, a fair distribution of wealth, and no return to casino capitalism or to the ‘business as usual’ of the past 20 years in financial markets.

•  A European Central Bank committed to growth and full employment, not just price stability.

Support ETUC’s European days of action on 14, 15 and 16 May 2009 and join the ETUC demonstrations in Berlin, Brussels, Madrid and Prague.Declaration for download

To download the ETUC Declaration ‘Fight the crisis: put the people first’ in PDF format in one of the languages available, please click on the respective link below.



- CZ (45 Kb PDF)
- DE (17 Kb PDF)
- EN (544 Kb PDF)
- ES (16 Kb PDF)
- FR (544 Kb PDF)
- IT (16 Kb PDF)


Speech by John Monks in Berlin

ETUC General Secretary John Monks ' address to the demonstrators in Berlin on the European Action Day on 16 May 2009. Speaking to the 100, 000 people demonstrating in Berlin to fight the crisis, ETUC General Secretary John Monks emphasised in his speech that:

'{So, as part of a New Social Deal, we propose European-wide investment in green technologies, in public transport and energy, innovation and research and development; we want quick acting help for workers – subsidies and Kurzarbeit to stop them becoming unemployed; help with training and education; top class public employment services. We want to stop free movement of services in the EU sweeping aside collective agreements; and equal pay for work of equal value in every country.

And we want the rich and comfortable to pay their fair share of the rescue and recovery plans.}'
ETUC Dossier on economic crisis

- Dossier on the economic and social crisis: ETUC positions and actions – ETUC has compiled this dossier aimed at providing an overview of its actions, demands and resolutions in relation to the deepening global recession.