The European Union has met the social partners for closer cooperation and better governance

The Presidents of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy and Council of the European Union, who is currently the Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme, met October 28, 2010, representatives of workers and European employers in the Tripartite Social Summit. This summit focused on the economic reform program and on economic governance. How should the Europe 2020 Strategy lead to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, to job creation, as well as to social cohesion, fairness and to maintaining the European social model? It is on this very issue that the discussions focussed.

The prime ministers of the future presidencies Orban and Tusk, Belgian Employment minister Milquet and Laszlo Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion were also present.

President Barroso said that Europe was re-injecting confidence in its capacity to redress our economy in a smart, sustainable and inclusive way and that great strides to reform financial supervision and regulation had been made. He said that the European Commission had been putting in place a new economic governance and had adopted a common economic strategy that included the re-launch of the Single Market as its most important engine for growth and jobs. MR Barroso also declared that learning the lessons of the crisis had been possible only collectively, in close partnership between the institutions and with the European social partners. HE added that the Commission remained firmly committed to continue social dialogue to find the right solutions for our European model of society also in the future.

Addressing the European social partners, Laszlo Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion underlined that the situation for young people and those trying to find a job was particularly severe and that we needed a collective response to get them back into work or find a first job. He said he was confident that if this meeting stakeholders could make this day’s political statements a reality and ensure a stronger social dimension to their efforts, they would make progress.

The European social partners (ETUC, BUSINESSEUROPE, CEEP and UEAPME) were generally supportive of the Commission’s Europe 2020 strategy, economic governance reform and the ideas to re-launch the Single Market as an engine of growth and jobs and called for their continued implication in turning them into practice.. All agreed on the need for cooperation in implementing the Europe 2020 strategy, with a closer involvement of social partners and a strong social dimension in future EU policies.

Background

The Tripartite Social Summit meets twice a year, ahead of the spring and autumn European Councils. It is an important opportunity for an exchange of views between the social partners, the Commission and the heads of government and employment ministers of the current and subsequent two Council Presidencies.

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