EPSU says no to Council proposing 100 billion Euros of cuts in public spending

Public service workers demanding a fair deal, 12 December 2023, Brussels

Public service workers demanding a fair deal, 12 December 2023, Brussels

(17 January 2024) The European Commission, European Parliament and the Council of Ministers start negotiations on the reform of the economic governance rules. The Council adopted its mandate at the end of 2023. The Council proposals will entail a cut of 100 billion Euros in public spending for 2025 according to calculations of the ETUC. And this annually.  Member states could request to extend the cuts over a seven year period. The risk is that they  will be forced to give commitments to harsher anti-worker economic reforms, to privatisations or commercialising public services.

Public service workers have not forgotten the ordeal Member States imposed on us, on our services and on our communities. Wages were held down, collective bargaining was suspended, privatisations were forced on certain Member States and so on. Many countries still suffer the consequences and mostly in health and social services. Staffing shortages accumulate and public services workers can not give the quality of care they want and the people we care for deserve.  

The Parliament will vote its mandate and ETUC has asked the MEPs to ensure:

  • That no so called ‘deficit safeguards’ are introduced because they will have a severe negative effects on GDP
  • Investment needed for the green transition or the European Pillar of Social Rights must be protected and anti worker reforms need to be prevented
  • Limits on debt to GDP ratio should start to decline after the end of the adjustment period

For the ETUC position and calculations

EPSU has published a series of briefings to challenge the previous austerity measures