Social partners and European leaders hold 'social summit' in Brussels

(21 March 2016) On 16 March the Spring tripartite social summit took place, bringing together social partners and representatives of the European Commission and EP Presidencies. The European trade union federations were represented by ETF (and with EPSU as an observer). Discussions in the Summit covered topical concerns regarding the economic situation, the refugee crisis and social policy developments (in particular the proposal from the EC for a targeted revision of the posted workers Directive and the consultation regarding a pillar of social rights). To mark the occasion the social partners agreed three joint statements, on the refugee crisis, digitalization and industrial policy. In the statement of the refugee crisis, employer organisations in the public and private sectors, chambers of commerce and industry, chambers of skilled crafts, and trade unions affirm their commitment to support inclusion of refugees into work and society. The statement also draws attention to the challenges facing local public services. The social partners also asked the European Commission and the Council to support the recent social partners' declaration on 'a new start for a strong social dialogue.' The Dutch Presidency affirmed in the meeting its willingness to build support for the statement. - [For the joint statements and other information see ETUC website->] (picture: Eduardo Chagas, General Secretary ETF, and Penny Clarke, Deputy General Secretary EPSU)