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European Commission


Brussels, 14 March 2013

Social Summit: addressing the challenges of economic recovery and the social dimension of Economic and Monetary Union

Addressing the challenges of economic recovery and the social dimension of Economic and Monetary Union, including the important role of workers' and employers' representatives, were the main issues discussed at the Tripartite Social Summit ahead of the European Council meeting today. The Summit brought together the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy and Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny– for the Presidency of the EU's Council of Ministers–with workers' and employers' representatives from the European and national level. László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Algimanta Pabedinskiene, Lithuania's Minister for Social Security and Labour , and Ioannis Vroutsis, Minister for Employment and Social security and welfare of Greece also contributed to the debate.

Against the background of persistently high unemployment, the Summit focused on collective efforts to ensure a sustainable recovery to restore jobs and growth and possible initiatives to strengthen the social dimension of Economic and Monetary Union. They also discussed how to better involve workers' and employers' representatives in the governance of the EU and in particular, the EMU.

President Barroso said: "Our top priorities are growth and jobs and we are using all the tools at our disposal to bring Europe out of this crisis. Now is the time to deliver on the reforms that will put our economies back on track. The EU will continue to play its role in promoting jobs and growth but it is at national level that much work has still to be done to implement the changes that will make Europe more competitive and support sustainable growth. The reform effort should be spread fairly across society and social concerns have to be addressed, namely, the most challenging issue of unemployment."

Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor underlined: “Deepening Economic and Monetary Union also means building up its social dimension. Ensuring that workers' and employers' representatives are fully involved and participate in policy processes is key for ownership of policy, and for good policy coordination. This is particularly important for the social dimension of genuine EMU".

The European workers' and employers' representatives (European Trade Union Confederation - ETUC, BUSINESSEUROPE, European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public services - CEEP and European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises - UEAPME) presented their progress in implementing their joint work programme for 2012-2014 including joint work on youth employment, lifelong learning and the economic and social governance of the EU.


The Tripartite Social Summit meets twice a year, ahead of the spring and autumn European Councils. It is an important opportunity for an exchange of views between workers' and employers' representatives, the Commission, the President of the European Council and the heads of government and employment ministers of the current and subsequent two Council Presidencies.

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