After a very hectic week in Slovakia and the Czech Republic this week has been more about the internal policies of the European Union. On Tuesday the European Commission published the Autumn Economic Package including the Annual Growth Survey (AGS). The AGS kick starts the European Semester, a process that aims to support the convergence of Member States’ economic and social policies. In the past, our members and ourselves have been quite clear that there has been no balance in the European semester.
Everything is loaded towards economic priorities, often contradicting or ignoring social priorities. This year though we have seen a change. The European Pillar of Social Rights is cited as the compass by which Member States should be guided in their economic and social reforms. This is a marked change and one that we welcome. However, just because the social compass of the European Union is pointing upwards, does not mean that this compass is going in the same direction at Member State level. That is where we come in.
Across our network, we need to work with national governments to ensure the compass is taking us in the right direction and not elsewhere. We will be working across our membership to show where social and economic policies damage social progress and where they support it. We will be gathering data and evidence to call for feedback to Members States through the European Semester that is impactful but also measurable. And we will be working across our membership to fight for more investment in social services and effectiveness of social protection. Come join us.
Have a good weekend,