In the coming weeks, the European Commission will issue its analysis of the Economic (and to some degree social) situation in Europe with the publication of the Annual Growth Survey. This will signal the start of the 2016 European Semester which assesses the economic development of Member States and through which the European Commission makes recommendations to ensure that Member States’ economies head in the ‘right’ direction. But what is the right direction? Up until now, there has been an emphasis on ‘growth friendly fiscal consolidation’ which has often had a negative impact on social protection and social services. As a result, we have written to the European Commission this week to share our members’ views on a more social European Semester and you can read what we have asked for here. In summary, our members want to see less emphasis on social spending as a burden and rather see an emphasis on investing in social policies across the life cycle. In the coming weeks, we will see if the Commission really matches its words with actions.
The continuing migration to Europe is one of the issues that needs to be taken into account when rebalancing social and economic priorities. This week, we were invited to present to the European Commission our members’ work on the current new arrivals in Europe and what was needed in terms of funding, services, social protection and policies. We were delighted that members in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, France, Spain, Hungary, Italy, Greece, Belgium and the Netherlands were able to contribute their experiences and we could present them to a wide audience of policy makers and civil society. We will be following up with various people over the coming weeks. You can read the points our members asked us to make here.
Have a good weekend,