(22 November 2018) Local government social partners gathered in Copenhagen in early November to exchange experiences about their involvement in the European Semester process. The meeting was the first in a series of three regional seminars organised in the framework of the social dialogue project “Localising the European Semester”, launched earlier this year by EPSU and CEMR (Council of European Municipalities and Regions) with the support of the European Commission.
Joint presentations by EPSU members, national confederations, local government employers and Commission Semester officers from Denmark, Sweden and Finland framed the discussions for the seminar. Although Nordic countries differ as per their level and process of involvement in the Semester, there were many common elements. Participants stressed the importance of involvement and coordination with relevant actors at both national and European level. Trade unions and local governments are in close proximity to workers and citizens that makes them well placed to bring pertinent contributions to National Reform Programmes and Country-Specific Recommendations.
“The European Semester mustn’t remain a secret to trade unions and local government” was repeatedly emphasised. The EPSU–CEMR social dialogue project can support increased capacity and influence.
The following Seminar is to take place in Madrid in spring 2019 with special focus on the Semester Process and Social Partners’ involvement in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and France.