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On March 25, 2010 the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero representing the Presidency of the Council met the European social partners to look at how Europe can exit the current economic and financial crisis.
Discussions also focused on the Commission’s proposal for a new ten-year integrated economic and social strategy: Europe 2020. This Tripartite Social Summit has demonstrated the broad consensus on the need to combine a successful exit strategy with an ambitious structural reform agenda. László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion along with representatives of the future Belgian and Hungarian Presidencies also participated actively in the discussions.
"Europe 2020 must generate commitment. I firmly believe that this strategy combines long and short term measures to respond to the crisis and will bring real benefits.” underlined President Barroso. He added: “We must focus on working together as European institutions, Member States, regions and social partners and all other stakeholders in the best possible way so as to build our common future: a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy with high levels of employment."
Addressing workers’ and employers’' representatives, László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion said: "With 23 million Europeans out of work – 7 million more than before the crisis – we need those closest to the workplace to be with us in the fight against unemployment and social exclusion. The entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon will help this effort, anchoring the important role of the social partners and the Tripartite Social Summit, reinforcing our partnerships further”. He stressed: “If we want robust governance and greater ownership, it is imperative that workers and employers are involved in shaping Europe 2020 and making it happen on the ground.”
The European social partners (ETUC, BUSINESSEUROPE, CEEP and UEAPME) expressed their view on the need for a well-defined exit strategy and a smart combination of short-term and long-term measures. The Social partners ask to be fully involved in the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy and are working on a joint contribution to this strategy.