Commenting on the European Commission’s ‘Annual Growth Survey’ – which kicks off the annual economic policy-making ‘Semester’ – Katja Lehto Komuleinen, Deputy General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation said


“I hope today’s announcement is the beginning of better EU economic policy, the start of EU economic policy that is about fairness and living conditions and not just fiscal rules.”


“The ETUC welcomes the European Commission setting out economic and social priorities. The ETUC has long called for an ‘Economic and Social Semester’, and is encouraged by the Commission’s claim that it will use economic policy recommendations to put the newly proclaimed European Pillar of Social Rights into practice.”


“The ETUC also welcomes the Commission calling for wage increases, and for reforms that increase real wage growth, but does not believe they should be limited to countries with surplus budgets. Wages are the engine of inclusive growth. The Commission is right that there is not enough convergence of living and working conditions across Europe. This is why investment, including public investment, is needed in every EU country, and why the east-west pay gap needs to be tackled with pay rises across the whole EU for upward wage convergence. Economic policy recommendations from the Commission for strengthening collective bargaining would be very useful.”


“The ETUC supports the Commission’s call for Member States to ensure better pension systems for all, including the self-employed.”

“European trade unions will be more active than ever before in the EU’s economic policy-making semester and will be pushing hard for the promise to deliver the pillar through its economic policy recommendations to come true.”