Unions demand investment, pay convergence, progressive economic policy at EU macro-economic dialogue

Minister of Finance, Toomas Tőniste, Estonia and EPSU General Secretary, Jan Willem Goudriaan - 6 November 2017

Minister of Finance, Toomas Tőniste, Estonia and EPSU General Secretary, Jan Willem Goudriaan - 6 November 2017, Macro Economic Dialogue

(8 November 2017) The speakers for the European institutions like Council, Commission and ECB noted the improvements in employment rates recognizing many workers still remain without a job or in precarious employment. ETUC demanded stronger measures to stimulate growth and quality job creation. We expect the package the Commission will publish on Deepening the Economic and Monetary Union to include measures to achieve more equality and social rebalancing in the EU. We want more investment and proposals to bring about social justice to be included in the European Semester and economic governance of the EMU.

The EPSU General Secretary part of the ETUC delegation demanded that the Council support Public country by country reporting. It should further deal with tax havens. The leaked Paradise papers underlined how justified our demands are. Funding for public investment in addressing staffing levels in many public services ensuring quality services can be provided is available. Investment is needed to ensure that the pillar of social rights and the improvements in social protection can be implemented. The Council and Commission should stop pushing for austerity. Public service workers in Europe deserve and fight for a pay increase as recent actions in France, results of a union ballot in the UK and demonstrations foreseen in Slovakia underline.

Sadly, the employers and several government representatives continue to push for structural reforms. And statements for the Eurogroup of ministers indicate that they will continue to demand austerity to reduce debt levels and not just an end to deficits. The union delegation made clear this is a dead end street and has no support of workers our families and communities.

The macro-economic dialogue at political level took place 6 November. The ETUC delegation was led by the General Secretary. Finance ministers of Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria participated as well as vice-President of the European Commission Dombrovskis, A board member of the ECB and the president of the EUrogroup.

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