18/09/2015 – At the EPC event today, Vice President Dombrovskis provided an update on the latest developments on deepening the EMU, implementing the 5 President’s Report. The main priorities up to 2017 were outlined as 1) implementing the macroeconomic rule through the European Semester, 2) Financial Backstops and 2) Banking Union. The key slogan was ‘deepening by doing’ – implementing closer macroeconomic governance through the European Semester, by focussing more clearly on Social and Economic Challenges and improving visibility and ownership of the Semester by involving more Member States, European parliament and Social partners.
Sian Jones, EAPN, intervened on 5 key elements:
1) the need to recognize the current political crisis with the failure of the EU to reach agreement to solve the refugee humanitarian crisis,
2) Closer EMU wasn’t possible without putting social objectives at the heart of European Governance and democratizing the European Semester,
3) The Europe 2020 Strategy, inclusive and sustainable growth with the poverty and social targets needed to be a priority in the Country-Specific Recommendations and new Annual Growth Survey;
4) A social dimension had to go beyond social and economic indicators, to concrete actions to support access to quality jobs, services and social protection.
5) If there was real commitment to creating more democratic engagement, social NGOs needed to be included with social partners, as key stakeholders and a meaningful process developed based on guidelines.
Commissioner Dombrovskis responded by underlining that the ‘social dimension was indeed a key priority’ and it would be strengthened by ‘using social indicators in the macroeconomic assessment’ and the development of social benchmarks for minimum social protection.
See also the 5 President’s Report.