South East European Energy Ministers commit to social pillar

{Press Communication, 13 December 2005} The Energy ministers of South East Europe discussed a proposal of the European Commission on a social pillar for the South East European Energy Treaty, 9 December in Sofia. This draft text of a Memorandum was received positively by the Ministers. The proposal on a social pillar came about after intense pressure from the regions' trade unions. It was a key demand of the EPSU energy demonstration 1 December where 1500 workers from across Europe showed their anger over a failing energy market that has cost 300.000 jobs and brought no lower prices. “The lack of a social pillar in the Energy Treaty is not acceptable. It would create a two-tier workforce in the European energy sector. We can not accept that part of Europe's workforce would not have its fundamental rights respected. We welcome the commitment of Commissioner Piebalgs and the region's energy ministers therefore to redress the situation,” said Jan Willem Goudriaan, the EPSU Deputy General Secretary. “The unions now need to be consulted over the text of the Memorandum. It should be substantial and not a fig-leave.” For more information, please contact Jan Willem Goudriaan, + 32 2 2501080; email: [>] For background on EPSU's recent energy work: [>rub34] and for our campaign on the social dimension of the South East European Energy Treaty [>rub239]