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European Commission - Statement

Main messages from the Tripartite Social Summit

Brussels, 20 March 2019

Joint statement by President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Romania Viorica Dăncilă, General-Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation Luca Visentini and President of BusinessEurope Pierre Gattaz.

The main topic of the Tripartite Social Summit was "For a stronger, united and forward-looking Europe". The discussions were structured around three sub-themes:

·    50 years of labour mobility – making the best of free movement of workers for well-functioning labour markets

·    Delivering investments in a deeper and fairer Single Market

·    Building on the New Start for Social Dialogue to shape the new world of work

The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker stressed: “In the past four years, we have put social priorities back to where they belong - at the heart of the European agenda. 12 million jobs have been created.  The employment level is at a record high. Unemployment is at its lowest since the turn of the century. With the proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, 25 initiatives proposed by the Commission in the social field have now been agreed upon. Posted workers will get the same pay for the same work at the same place. Parents and carers will have new opportunities to balance work and private life. Millions of workers will be better informed about their labour rights and social protection, and better protected from cancer-causing chemicals. A European Labour Authority is being set up. I call on everyone to build on this progress and further strengthen Social Europe in the coming months and years.”

From the side of the rotating presidency, Romania's Prime Minister, Viorica Dăncilă, underlined: “The Romanian Presidency of the EU Council is focused on cohesion, as a common European value, for a secure, dynamic and strong Union, in an ever changing and challenging international environment. The Presidency's efforts are aimed at protecting the rights of European citizens whilst supporting the business environment. The next decade will see deep transformations of our economy and society led by digitalisation and decarbonisation. These transformations will bring essential challenges and opportunities to the future of Europe, its internal consolidation, as well as to the enforcement of its position as a global actor. In this context, we must focus on well-targeted investments and the continuous development and adaptation of workers' skills. Labour mobility, as one of the fundamental freedoms of the Union, must be backed by well-articulated mechanisms that support the European social model. Such reforms must involve the European social partners. Today's Summit reflected the complexity of the challenges that our Union needs to face, but it has also highlighted the willingness of all the stakeholders to act together in order to build a prosperous European future.”

The General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Luca Visentini, said: “The EU is failing to ensure that work guarantees decent living. There is an urgent need to make our continent a better place for working people to live and work. The answer lies in more public and private investment, a real industrial policy, progressive and fair taxation without large-scale evasion or avoidance, and enabling in every member state negotiations between employers and trade unions to increase wages, boost productivity and tackle inequality. It also means proactively managing the digital transformation and decarbonisation of our economy so that no-one and no region is left behind.”

BusinessEurope's President, Pierre Gattaz, representing employers (BusinessEurope, CEEP, UEAPME) stated: “The EU is falling behind in its ability to develop world-leading firms. The recovery is slowing. There is an urgent need to make our continent a better place to start and grow a business. The answer lies in creating an enabling environment for businesses with efficient services of general interest to foster more private and public investments. It requires delivering national growth and employment enhancing reforms, increasing productivity, having a more strategic industrial policy, integrating SMEs in European and global value chains and finally walking the talk on the completion of the Single Market. It also means supporting the digital transformation of our economy and promoting innovation and investments in skills development because this is essential if we want to have sustained and inclusive growth in the future.” 

Background

The Tripartite Social Summit takes place twice a year, ahead of the spring and autumn European Councils. It is an opportunity for a constructive exchange of views between leaders of European employee and employer organisations, the European Commission, the European Council, the EU Heads of State or Government and Employment and Social Affairs Ministers from the countries holding the current and upcoming Council of the EU Presidencies.

More information on this edition of the Tripartite Social Summit is available here.

STATEMENT/19/1752

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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