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EU leaders and social partners highlighted the urgent need to rebuild confidence in European integration at the Tripartite Social Summit held this morning.
European workers' and employer's representatives joined the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras – for the Presidency of the Council – at the Summit, ahead of the European Council.
László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and Franca Biondelli, Undersecretary of State at the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, also contributed to the debate.
The Summit agreed on the need for further collective efforts to pursue sustainable economic growth, while ensuring social cohesion and quality employment.
The Summit took stock of past actions and discussed future steps in the European Semester and the social partners’ key role in strengthening the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union, as well as their importance in elaborating and effectively implementing reforms at European and national level.
The European employer and employee representatives stressed the need for a renewed focus on jobs. They asked for the active involvement of their counterparts at national level in the implementation of national reform plans and in EU governance as a whole. They presented progress achieved so far in implementing their joint work programme for 2012-2014, including the ongoing joint negotiations on employment.
The Tripartite Social Summit meets twice a year, ahead of the spring and autumn European Councils. It is a significant opportunity for an exchange of views between European employer and employee representatives, the Commission and the heads of government and employment ministers of the current and subsequent two Council Presidencies.
The EU employer and employee representatives are: the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC); BUSINESSEUROPE; the European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public services (CEEP); and the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME).