PES Social Ministers call on European leaders to take citizens' concerns seriously - Building a Social Union and Fighting Youth Unemployment

At an extraordinary meeting on 17 May in Paris, European social democratic and socialist ministers urged their conservative and liberal colleagues as well as the European Commission to make progress on strengthening the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union.

Nicolas Schmit, Chairperson of the PES Social and Employment Ministers network underlined: "In light of growing unemployment, rising poverty, increasing inequalities and stagnating growth, the role of social and employment policies must be upgraded. Austerity policies can't be an answer to the crisis Europe is facing. We must enforce policies that generate sustainable growth. We believe that the European Semester should no longer focus unilaterally on reducing deficits, but should contribute to more and better jobs, a reduction of poverty and more social cohesion. In a declaration the PES Social and Employment Ministers adopted recently, we outline a concrete action plan to create a Social Union. It is not a question of more or less Europe. The crucial question is what kind of Europe we want. We as Socialists and Social Democrats are committed to build a Social Europe, which is at the service of its citizens."

Social democratic and socialist ministers called for increased efforts to overcome skyrocketing youth unemployment across the continent. They underlined that following the decision of the Council of Ministers; youth guarantees should be introduced in all Member States as soon as possible. To allow for new jobs created in the countries with the highest youth unemployment rates, growth measures must be improved. Michel Sapin, French Minister for Labour, Employment, Training and Social Dialogue, who hosted the meeting, underlined: "We should not waste any more time in our fight against youth unemployment. Creating more jobs for young people is an absolute priority. I believe the European Investment Bank could play a bigger role in providing the necessary funds for job-relevant investments. We must improve access to capital, especially for small and medium enterprises and the social economy."

The PES ministers agreed that an ambitious compromise in the Council on the Commission proposal to improve the implementation of the posting of workers directive must be found as soon as possible. They emphasized that this is a precondition to guarantee a better protection of those workers who are employed in another EU country. Rudolf Hundstorfer, Austrian Minister of Social Affairs, Labour and Consumer Protection, emphasized the need to improve the controls in Member States of the implementation. He stated: "Every employer who misuses the freedom of services in the EU to exploit workers needs to be penalised. I call on all my colleagues in the Council of Ministers to make quick progress on this dossier, in order to overcome social dumping in Europe."

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published this page in Blog 2013-05-21 09:06:36 +0200
"Your future is my future - a European Youth Guarantee now!"
The Party of European Socialists (PES), Young European Socialists (YES) and PES Women are running the campaign "Your future is my future" and calling for a European Youth Guarantee to tackle youth unemployment.

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