Brussels, 21/03/2006

Workers in Europe are worried about the lack of decent jobs, precarious and insecure jobs that are spreading throughout the economy and about the rising levels of poverty and social exclusion. They reject a policy agenda that, using the alibi of ‘business friendly' competitiveness, will make matters worse by reducing wages, working conditions, social protection and prolonging working hours.

The ETUC calls upon the Spring Council to rebuild workers' confidence and support for Europe by :

- Endorsing the European Parliament's vote on the Services Directive without watering it down.
- Stressing that social Europe and workers' rights are a force for productive change. The Council should engage in drawing up a European roadmap for social justice and fair working conditions.
- Endorsing the proposal for a European Pact for Gender Equality by including a special focus on gender equality in the National Reform programmes and the Commission's Annual Progress Report.
- Rejecting an economic model that accepts 20 million citizens are unemployed. The European Economic Model should be reformed by balancing stability-oriented economic policies with policies that promote a growing and dynamic economy.

‘Limiting European integration to a single market in which unfettered competition rules at the expense of decent wages and working conditions is a non-starter. European leaders must show they've understood this by endorsing the European Parliament's decision for the Services Directive without the hidden agenda of deregulation and weakening workers' rights' declared Reiner Hoffmann, Deputy General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation.

- ‘Move Social Europe up a gear\': ETUC resolution for the Spring European Council