Main messages from the Tripartite Social Summit, Tuesday, 23 June 2020

©European Union, 2021, Source: EP – Multimedia Centre©European Union, 2021, Source: EP – Multimedia Centre

The topic of the Tripartite Social Summit was “Contribution of the Social Partners to relaunching Growth and Employment in the Aftermath of COVID-19“. The discussions were structured around the following:

  • Economic and social emergency related to the COVID-19 outbreak
  • Exit strategy for deconfinement
  • Recovery Plan proposed by the European Commission, including NextGenerationEU
  • Social Partners Autonomous Agreement on Digitalisation

The President of the European Council Charles Michel stated: “The efforts of European institutions to repair and rebuild will only succeed with social dialogue and with the continued engagement of social partners. For me they are the key protagonists in this crisis. We are guided by one key principle: our shared recovery must be everyone’s recovery. Based on the twin pillars of solidarity and convergence, at the heart of our European project.”

The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: “To this unprecedented crisis the Commission has brought an unprecedented response: with NextGenerationEU, the SURE scheme and a revamped long term EU budget we want to make sure that we support everyone – our workers, our businesses, our economy – and ultimately make our Union stronger. Together we can re-build a stronger, more social Europe, fit for the green and digital transitions. A well-functioning social dialogue will help us find solutions out of this crisis, while preparing the future.”

From the side of the rotating presidency, Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, underlined: “The COVID-19 crisis has no precedent in the history of our Union since its foundation. As the Presidency of the Council, we have reacted swiftly and efficiently, in cooperation with member states, other EU institutions and social partners, to address the initial impact and consequences of the crisis by adopting sets of measures at EU and national level. To overcome the economic, social and other challenges of COVID-19, including demographic challenges, and put the EU on the recovery path towards a more sustainable and resilient economy and green and digital transformation, we need European unity, solidarity and determination to agree on a strong Recovery package and a new Multiannual Financial Framework for the period 2021–2027 in the coming weeks. For this, today’s engagement with social partners will be a valuable opportunity for an inclusive decision making to the benefit of all EU citizens, including those most vulnerable.”

The General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Luca Visentini, said: “Trade unions are united behind the EU recovery plan to save jobs and businesses. There is no time to lose when 60 million workers have already been laid off temporarily or permanently and millions of businesses, particularly SMEs, are at risk of bankruptcy. The recovery plan is the only way to ensure Europe emerges fairer, greener and united from this crisis, but support must reach workers and companies in time to make a real difference. The recovery plan, as well as all emergency measures, must be implemented through proper involvement of trade unions at all levels. The transition to a digital economy and workplace is an important part of the plan and the new social partner agreement on digitalisation will help ensure change is fair to workers, and now needs to be implemented at national, sectoral, company and workplace level to ensure a socially-fair transition to a digital economy.”

BusinessEurope’s Director General, Markus Beyrer, representing employers, (BusinessEurope, CEEP, SMEunited), said: “In order to minimise long-term scarring to the European economy, the EU and its member states need to progressively reopen their economies and put in place a coordinated economic response to support enterprise investment, consumer demand and employment. All enterprises, including SMEs and services of general interest, need support to recover from the shock of the crisis and become more resilient again. Europe needs a growth strategy including the green and digital transitions but not limited to these two crucial transitions, and improving competitiveness. In the coming years, all efforts should be geared towards ensuring that the funding foreseen in the NextGenerationEU recovery instrument is well spent, incentivising necessary structural reforms, and providing prosperity-enhancing investment and job creation. The European social partners presented today their new autonomous framework agreement on digitalisation. It is important that the Commission fully respects the autonomy of the social partners.”

The views cited in this text are those of the individual / organisation concerned and do not collectively constitute the point of view of the Council or the European Council.

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