ETUC Executive Committee addresses right to strike, economic governance, internal market...
This Executive Committee adopted a number of important policies:
- On the [situation of refugees->https://www.etuc.org/circulars/information-etuc-concerns-and-proposals-refugee-crisis] : ETUC as well as the European employers will also participate in a European discussion on economic migration and skills. ETUC and EPSU have been stressing the importance of legal channels of migration. ETUC rejects the xenophobia and racism we see towards refugees. [The ETUC Committee for Migration, mobility and inclusion->https://www.etuc.org/documents/stop-discriminating-against-refugees-grounds-nationality] calls on the governments of the Balkan countries to stop the discrimination of refugees on the basis of nationality.
- Regarding [Economic and Monetary Union and the need for rebalancing European Economic Governance->https://www.etuc.org/sites/www.etuc.org/files/document/files/en-completing-emu.pdf]. ETUC wants a social pillar, rejects the National Competitiveness Boards and is discussing a need for fiscal capacity of the EMU to address shocks. We are critical that only monetary policy is Europeanised and state debts remain national. ETUC has earlier expressed support for Eurobonds and considers the issuing of common debt paper important in the completion of the Economic and Monetary Union. It is a way to ensure public finance for public investments. EPSU supports the critical view of the ETUC towards the idea of a European Fiscal Board that would have further oversight over national budgets based on a set of rules which are one-sided. It would lead to further pressure on public services.
- [Trade union participation in the EU Economic semester->https://www.etuc.org/sites/www.etuc.org/files/document/files/en-trade_union_participation_in_the_eu_semester.pdf] is key. National governments and the European institutions should reinforce the consultation mechanisms. We should improve our coordination and positive examples were mentioned in the debate. ETUC rejects the calls for a two speed Europe implicit in the proposals of the UK Conservative government. [It is very critical of recent support from foreign ministers for this->https://www.etuc.org/press/there-cannot-be-two-speed-social-dimension-europe].
- [Assessment of the European Commission Work Programme for 2016->https://www.etuc.org/sites/www.etuc.org/files/document/files/en-etuc_assessment_of_the_ec_work_programme_2016.pdf]. Our evaluation is that despite the nice talk, the social policy proposals remain vague. Whereas in many other areas there are legislative proposals, this is not the case in the social policy field. Missing are proposals to strengthen information, consultation and participation rights for example. The European Commission does not provide for an evaluation of the Juncker investment plan. ETUC recalls its proposals for a serious investment plan. We also miss progress on the Youth Guarantee and its prospects to be continued in light of the continuing high youth unemployment.
- ETUC adopted its [response to the first stage of consultation on Work-Life Balance->https://www.etuc.org/sites/www.etuc.org/files/mailing/files/08_ec214_en4_approved.pdf]. Many concerns of EPSU have been integrated in the paper. ETUC is ready to negotiate on legislative proposals with the employers to improve the rights of men and women for various leave arrangements. BusinessEurope however rejects such improvements based on rights. In its contribution it sees workers' rights as a cost. We recall that it sees improving gender balance as resulting in a loss of competitiveness.
- Various positions on trade.
-* The EU should not automatically grant market economy status to China. This would imply that it has more possibilities to export. ETUC insists on proper evaluation of the commitments that have been made by China.
-* Together with the Japanese Confederation RENGO we are critical of the EU-Japan Free Trade Negotiations. The arguments are similar as with regard to TTIP and CETA, and the need for exclusion of public services, strengthening workers rights through respect and enforcement of ILO conventions, and no to the ISDS mechanism.
-* ETUC will continue to work with the Parliament and others to ensure that no agreement is adopted that does not reflect our concerns around public services, workers' rights. The European parliament committee will discuss TISA 18 January. ETUC will work to develop [its position adopted in at the Paris Congress->https://www.etuc.org/documents/emergency-motion-tisa#.Vg5Tw7Ttmko] further.
-* ETUC remains critical of the proposals of the European Commission to reform the ISDS mechanism. It is not a public court that is proposed, but remains one of commercial arbitration.
- We adopted a position on [the Single Market Strategy->https://www.etuc.org/sites/www.etuc.org/files/document/files/en-single-market-position.pdf], on the reform of [EU Emission Trading System->https://www.etuc.org/documents/position-structural-reform-eu-emissions-trading-system#.VnQqWr-Q-k8] and on [the agreement achieved in COP21->https://www.etuc.org/system/files/circular/private-files/etuc_declaration_paris_agreement_climate_change_en.pdf]
- ETUC will develop its work in defense of [workers' rights and the right to strike->https://www.etuc.org/sites/www.etuc.org/files/mailing/files/en-etuc_action_promoting.pdf] further. We discussed how we can promote the social progress protocol, working together as unions and with others in society and across the political spectrum.
The ETUC Executive Committee took place 16-17 December 2015, Brussels. Francoise Geng, EPSU Vice-president and EPSU General Secretary participated. We also took the opportunity to participate in [the ETUC action->https://www.etuc.org/press/trade-unions-inclusion-refugees] to demand measures of the European Commission and the Council in support of refugees. We signed the [European Citizens' of the ETF for Fair Transport and an end to Social Dumping in Europe->https://www.fairtransporteurope.eu/]