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Macro-economic dialogue at political level - the mantra of structural reform prevalent - a contested approach

(17 February 2015) "Growth is not taking off due to a lack of investment. The risk of deflation is persistent with the structural reform agenda pursued by employers, ECB and European Commission making matters worse" was the message of the trade union delegation of ETUC in the macro-economic dialogue at political level. The ETUC General Secretary Bernadette Segol underlined what the ETUC expects of an Investment Programme and so-called Quantative Easing focused on the real economy. This (...)

Results of the Greek elections and new government are an opportunity for Europe to strengthen democracy

Negotiations for alternatives to austerity - Results of the Greek elections and new government are an opportunity for Europe to strengthen democracy (16 February 2015) As General Secretary of EPSU I signed the call of our German trade union colleagues and many others in solidarity with the Greek people. The initiative demands that the European Commission and the Eurogroup have serious negotiations with the new Greek government to respect the demands of the Greek people for a change of (...)

MEPs give cross-party support for key messages on Semester

Six MEPs from across the political spectrum expressed their support for calls to reform the European Semester - the annual process of economic governance. The key messages were drawn up by the EU Semester Alliance, a grouping of civil society groups with support from EPSU and the ETUC. The Alliance is calling for a much more democratic and transparent Semester, with increased involvement of national parliaments, the European Parliament, social partners and civil society. For the Alliance, (...)

Economic governance, Juncker’s investment plan, tax avoidance, health and safety and more on agenda of ETUC Executive

(10 December 2014) The economic situation in Europe and the impact on workers and our families and communities was the main topic of the ETUC Executive Committee (2-3 December). Close to 25 million people are unemployed. Deflation is a real threat and in several countries already happening. Restoring demand by having appropriate pay increases as well as public investment are therefore needed according to ETUC to get the European Union and in its wake the rest of Europe out of the recession. (...)

Annual Growth Survey 2015 - Structural reforms will fuel deflation rather than recovery

(Press Communication – 24 November 2014) The European Commission is due to publish the Annual Growth Survey 2015 and the Juncker Investment plan this week. The investment plan will be crucial to a sustained recovery but this risks being undermined by the now familiar call for more and deeper structural reform. As this briefing from EPSU makes very clear the kinds of reforms envisaged by the Commission will not only have a negative impact on workers but will contribute nothing to getting (...)

Report exposes faults and failings of economic governance

There needs to be major changes to the system of economic governance – the European Semester. This is the key message of a new report from the Alliance for a democratic, social and sustainable European Semester. The Alliance is a grouping of civil society organisations supported by the ETUC and EPSU. The report sets out a stage-by-stage analysis of the European Semester and how far it is delivering on Europe 2020 goals and targets, concluding that: “…the potential of the Europe 2020 has been (...)

Trade unions at EU Tripartite Social Summit: invest, invest, invest

The ETUC delegation made clear that the economic situation in the European Union is not improving and that the EU needs public investment to restore sustainable growth and create quality jobs at the Tripartite Social Summit 23 October. The summit preceeds the autumn European Council in which the economy and the Annual Growth Survey are discussed. Unemployment remains high especially for young people, some countries see years of decline, while poverty and inequality grow. Public investment (...)

EPSU Briefings: Challenging austerity

EPSU has published a series of briefings that uncover the failings of the austerity policies that have been imposed across Europe over the last five years. The first briefing focuses on the fact that austerity has failed. It has neither delivered sustainable economic growth nor resolved the debt crisis in several countries. Furthermore, it has had drastic, negative social consequences. The confidence myth is exposed in the second briefing. One of the arguments for austerity was that you (...)

2014 country-specific recommendations on public service issues

This year’s country-specific recommendations include many with implications for public services with, in particular, an increased number calling for more cost effective health and long-term care provision. Below is a summary of some of the main observations for each group of recommendations. Public budgets The emphasis is still very much on fiscal consolidation, with the focus on reducing spending. Although nine countries are encouraged to make their fiscal consolidation “growth-friendly”, (...)

EPSU backs ETUC call for increased public investment

(24 September 2014) The ETUC yesterday set out its key demands for getting Europe’s economy back on track and central to these is increased public investment. ETUC deputy general secretary Józef Niemiec presented a number of proposals for action during a consultative meeting of trade unions and employers on the 2015 Annual Growth Survey. The AGS is due for publication by the European Commission in November and will include the economic and social priorities for the coming year. The ETUC (...)

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