The Tripartite Social Summit, held in Brussels today, October 18, provided an opportunity for European Union Institutions and the social partners to discuss the importance of promoting growth, employment and social inclusion as well as the significant role the social partners can play in an improved EU governance. The Tripartite Social Summit took place ahead of the European Council session which will review progress in the implementation of the Compact for Growth and Jobs, and discuss additional orientations to promote growth and employment.
“Today’s Tripartite Social Summit was of particular importance since it took place against the backdrop of a continuously uncertain and difficult financial, economic and employment situation. The economic crisis continues to affect European employees in multifaceted ways and, in particular, increases the risk of further marginalization of young people. The crisis has greatly affected our citizens and threatens social cohesion”, President of the Republic of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias, remarked during the meeting.
The summit agreed that a reinforced response is urgently needed to tackle the problem of unemployment. Europe needs immediate and decisive action to get back on track towards a job-rich growth, as well as social cohesion and environmental sustainability, in line with ‘Europe 2020’ Strategy objectives.
“Our common goal remains to create quality jobs and the rapid implementation of the Pact for Growth and Employment. We discussed with the social partners the key role that they can play to achieve faster recovery of the European economy and bring Europe back to the much-discussed growth. Our common goal is to create new jobs, especially for the younger. Our concern is to reinvigorate our youth hope and prospect”, President Christofias stated at a press Conference following the conclusion of the Summit.
The involvement of social partners
The message sent by the Summit is that the active involvement of social partners in European economic governance, at a national and EU level, is key to provide a renewed impetus in the effort to deliver a job-rich recovery and growth. The European social partners called for a proper involvement of social partners in the definition of national reform plans and in the implementation of the ‘Europe 2020’ Strategy as a whole.
In President Christofias’ view, the social dialogue and the role of social partners undoubtedly remain essential to the successful drafting and implementation of balanced economic and social policies of the European Union. The social dialogue in all policy areas is absolutely necessary, particularly in matters affecting fiscal policy, labour market changes and social policy reforms.
“We need the creative contribution of the social partners in order to be able to limit the negative effects on employment, to effectively recover from the crisis and stabilize growth, and to achieve our goals for the next decade”, he stressed.
“The struggle for a “Better Europe” is a common one and only through collective effort can we secure a better and more hopeful future for young Europeans”, President Christofias added.
A forum for social dialogue
The Tripartite Social Summit for Growth and Employment was established in 2003 and is a forum for high level dialogue between the EU institutions and European social partners. It regularly meets ahead of the March and October European Councils and brings together the troika of Heads of State or government (the current and the two following Presidencies: Cyprus, Ireland, Lithuania), accompanied by the respective employment Ministers, the Presidents of the European Council and the Commission, and the EU Commissioner for Employment as well as the Presidents or General -Secretaries of the principal European employers' and trade union organisations. Employers were represented by BusinessEurope, and trade unions by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).