The social dimension of the European Economic and Monetary Union? Will it make a difference?
On 02/10 , the Commission launched their long-awaited proposal on the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union. Although EAPN asked for a more ambitious proposal, (See letter to June Council below), as expected, the proposals focused on a new social scoreboard of social indicators, prioritising EU funds on ‘reducing social imbalances’, recognition about the need for an EU level automatic stabiliser– e.g. on unemployment benefit but with no concrete proposal, and reinforcing social dialogue…
EAPN strongly welcomes the idea of reinforcing the social dimension and the proposals of the scoreboard, which are vital to help demonstrate that the EU stands for more than just macroeconomic austerity. However, it is not clear how it will work in practice, how social ministers and social actors will be involved and what impact it will have i.e. will it prevent negative macroeconomic policies from generating increasing poverty and ensuring a coherent balance of economic and social policies in the EUs governance strategy? Will it help to bridge the democratic deficit in the economic governance process? EAPN highlights the need for a clearer ex-ante social impact process, a road map to move forward on EU social standards – i.e. towards a framework directive on minimum income and quality work, and an explicit role for civil society organisations, particularly those who work directly with the people impacted by austerity. EAPN will be discussing with its members the initiative and preparing follow up proposals and actions.
See European Commission’s Communication Strengthening the social dimension of the Economic And
Monetary Union here and related press release on Europa website 02/10 – The future of the Economic and Monetary Union: Commission proposes ideas to deepen social integration