EU leaders and social partners met this morning, ahead of the European Council, at the Tripartite Social Summit for Growth and Employment. Focus of discussions was “Boosting convergence, jobs and growth: towards a strengthened role of social partners”. The Commission was represented by President Juncker, Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Thyssen. The social partners were represented by BUSINESSEUROPE, UEAPME, CEEP for the employers’ side, and ETUC for the workers’ organisations. Social partners at national and sectorial levels also participated. President Juncker said: “We have been working for jobs and growth from day one of my mandate. A recovery that is based on social fairness, and can deliver renewed convergence within and between Member States. From the Investment Plan for Europe to the Energy Union, Digital Single Market, Capital Markets Union, to the completion of Economic and Monetary Union, our agenda is in full stream. Social partners at national and EU levels are key to success.” Vice-President Dombrovskis said: “Since we took office, the Commission has very consistently ensured that the new start for social dialogue remains a priority that delivers tangible results. We have promoted a more substantial involvement of social partners in the European Semester than in the past. Social Partners are being consulted on a wider range of EU policies and initiatives at an earlier stage. Together, we can build on the European social market economy, making it more resilient and fair.” Commissioner Thyssen highlighted: “A close involvement of social partners is indispensable for delivering on the Commission’s agenda to promote growth and jobs. The initiative on long-term unemployment as well as the planned mobility package and consultation on work-life balance are good illustrations of where we need the expertise of social partners to shape our policies and to ensure a proper implementation in Member States. I am happy to see that we can count on the social partners to contribute to fostering upward convergence in the social and employment field.” The Tripartite Social Summit press conference can be followed live on Ebs at 12:30.
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