The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy and Danish Prime Minister Ms Helle Thorning-Schmidt – for the Presidency of the Council – met at the Tripartite Social Summit with European workers' and employers' representatives.
The Summit focused, in particular, on the social partners’ key role in EU governance and their important contribution to restoring jobs and growth.
Enda Kenny, the Prime Minister of Ireland, Sotiroula Charalambous, the Cypriot Minister of Labour and László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion also contributed to the debate.
The European social partners (ETUC, BUSINESSEUROPE, CEEP and UEAPME) agreed on the need for an urgent focus on growth and jobs and strong investments to support recovery. They presented their joint work programme for 2012-2014, which includes, among others, a joint work on youth employment and an in-depth employment analysis of the issue, life long learning and the economic and social governance of the EU. They also called for their active involvement in the implementation of national reform plans and in EU governance as a whole.
The Tripartite Social Summit meets twice a year, ahead of the spring and autumn European Councils. It is an important opportunity for an exchange of views between the social partners, the Commission and the heads of government and employment ministers of the current and subsequent two Council Presidencies.