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Collective efforts to pursue economic integration and promote strong and sustainable economic growth, social cohesion and employment were the main focus of the Tripartite Social Summit held in Brussels on 18th October, in preparation of the 18-19 October European Council.
The Summit brought together the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, Cyprus President Demetris Christofias – for the Presidency of the EU's Council of Ministers – and László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, with representatives of European workers and employers (ETUC, BUSINESSEUROPE, CEEP and UEAPME). Enda Kenny, the Prime Minister of Ireland, which holds the Council Presidency in the first half of 2013, also contributed to the debate.
The Summit also reviewed progress on implementing the Compact for Growth and Jobs and discussed the social partners’ key role in EU governance, including their important contribution to restoring jobs and growth.
The European social partners stressed the need for the active involvement of social partners in the implementation of national reform plans and in EU governance as a whole. They presented a progress report on implementing their joint work programme for 2012-2014 including joint work on youth employment, lifelong learning and the economic and social governance of the EU.
The Tripartite Social Summit meets twice per 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 of the current and subsequent Council Presidencies.