Last #SOTEU speech of Juncker – Will he address workers’ disappointment in his Commission?

©CanStockPhoto  jank1000 European flags Berlaymont

(12 September 2018) Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will hold his last State of the European Union speech on Wednesday 12 September.  EPSU, Europe’s voice of public service unions, expects the President to:

  • commit to social justice by addressing inequalities and poverty in the European Union.
         This starts by affirming and promoting human rights like the right to water, energy, health, child and elderly care and education and establishing these in EU law for all.
  • distance himself from authoritarian, far-right and extreme right parties, and confirm the democratic values of the EU.  
         It is through leadership in creating a human rights based migration policy, founded on solidarity between Member States, that we can confront these threats to our democracies. Member States and EU institutions should do all they can to ensure refugees and migrants have a safe place in the EU  and can integrate in the labour market.
  • stand up for public services: highlight the need to stimulate public investment in public services and infrastructure as the corner stones of economic growth.
         There is a lack of sufficient staff in many public services including in care for the young, the sick, the old, and more funding is needed so workers can deliver the quality care people deserve.
  • confirm that all workers, in both public and private sectors, are entitled to labour rights, to information and consultation and to fair pay and conditions.  
         We expect the European institutions and Member States to encourage strong collective bargaining systems and social dialogue. With the refusal of the European Commission to implement a negotiated agreement on information and consultation rights for workers in central government administrations  the European Commission has undermined its commitment. The Commission will have to defend itself in the European Court for this.