Tripartite Social Summit: extracts from the press conference by José Manuel BARROSO, President of the EC, Herman VAN ROMPUY, President of the European Council, and the Social Partners
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - Council / Justus Lipsius
End production: 14/03/2013 First transmission: 14/03/2013
The Tripartite Social Summit was held this morning in Brussels, ahead of the European Council meeting. Its objective is to ensure the effective participation of the social partners in implementing the EU’s economic and social policies.
Talks, with representatives of European workers and employers (including ETUC, BUSINESSEUROPE, CEEP and UEAPME), were devoted to further economic integration, and the promotion of strong and sustainable economic growth, social cohesion and employment in the European Union.
The Summit also reviewed the social partners’ key role in EU governance, including their contribution to restoring jobs and growth.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General views of the press conference (3 shots)
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council: We need to find mechanisms to help reduce social divergences in our Union. The EU 2020 Strategy remains our core strategy. Its indicators for poverty,
employment rate and early school leavers remain very important. But perhaps we could go further, in the euro zone, with the development of indicators that would help us to take better into account the social dimension of economic choices and reforms.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC: The economic and social situation in Europe remains very challenging. That is why the priorities that the Commission identified in the previous years' Annual Growth Survey remain highly relevant and have been confirmed in the 2013 Annual Growth Survey which I expect the European Council will endorse. We have to concentrate on pursuing differentiate growth-friendly consolidation, restoring normal lending to the economy, promoting growth and competitiveness for today and tomorrow, tackling unemployment and the social consequences of the crisis, and modernizing public administration.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Enda Kenny, Irish Prime Minister: No European leader can be happy with the situation that 26 million people are unemployed in this Union that we represent and are responsible for. As Presidency, Ireland will work very hard with the Parliament, the Commission and the Council to effect change in that. We need to be creative; we need to be effective in the using of our resources to make the maximum difference.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Markus J. Beyrer, Director General of BUSINESSEUROPE: There are definitely signs of improvement but we have to also see that financial markets can still swing back if there is doubt about our ability to pursue the necessary reforms.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Bernadette Ségol, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC): We certainly are more that doubtful that growth is going to come from insufficient short period of time to cool down not the markets but the people and give them employment. Unemployment is up, and up, and up every month. When is growth going to come, what are we going to do get it. We believe that we need investment and we know that investment can be made if there is a political will to do so, and if there is some acceptance that the return public deficit level can be postponed for a while.