Country-Specific Recommendations for Health, Elderly and Child Care - Implications for Trade Union Work

Brussels, 10 April 2014 The EPSU article {{"The Country-Specific Recommendations as a tool of European Economic Governance – Implications for Trade Unions organising in Health Care, Elderly and Child Care"}} provides a description and analysis of the country-specific-recommendations for 2013-2014, and reflects on the implications of European Economic Governance on trade unions organising in health care, elderly and child care services. The article is meant to provide an overview of the EU-wide trends and should therefore be read in conjunction with the respective national recommendations published by the Commission. The article {{summarises the main features of EEG relevant to trade unions organising in health and social services }} and {{should serve as background information for discussion with EPSU affiliates}}. It contains first assessments and orientations for a future exchange amongst EPSU members concerning the actual and/or desirable roles, and positions of trade unions in the context of the EEG, its objectives and processes. This is in particular true for those linked to the country-specific recommendations that have an impact on the financing, organisation, provision and quality of health and social services as well as the pay and working conditions there. {{Social partners on European level}} have been indirectly involved in the process of formulating CSRs when they were invited to comment on the draft 2013 Annual Growth Survey (AGS), which serves as a basis for the subsequently formulated CSRs. However, they have no direct influence on this step of the process, in response the European social partners published a declaration in which they called for a greater role to allow them to comment and be consulted in a timely manner. Apart from that the main role for {{national social partners }} lies in engaging national governments before the formulation of National Reform Programmes (NRP) and implementation. To do so trade unions should monitor the European Semester at all stages in order to respond appropriately. Social partners play a potentially crucial role in influencing the national debate on the implementation of CSRs. As mentioned above CSRs already call on social partners’ involvement for some of the reforms. This will likely become even more prevalent in future CSRs with regard for the Commission’s Communication on strengthening the Social Dimension of the EMU that calls for a greater role of the social dialogue in EEG. Therefore it is important to observe the developments in EEG and the CSRs to be able to pro-actively facilitate positive outcomes – in case there is agreement amongst national trade unions to get involved in and to try to influence policy processes and procedures introduced in the context of European Economic Governance The article comprises {{two annexes}}: - Annex 1 reproduces the country-specific recommendations 2013-2014 relevant for health care systems, elderly and child care services. - Annex 2 contains the country-specific recommendations 2013-2014 focusing on wage developments and labour market reforms where they mention an involvement of social partners – but we would consider that this is more due to the fact that the European Commission feels in a way “obliged” to add the phrase “in consultation with the social partners” at various instances rather then this should mean a genuine involvement and possibility to influence the objectives and contents of the process from the start to the end. Read the article (in EN) here:
{N.B.: An earlier EPSU article content-wise linked to the one above and entitled ["Financial and Economic Crisis and Austerity Measures - Impacts on Health Care Systems, the Health Workforce and Patients"->art9895] was published on 25 November 2013.}