The European Semester Alliance, a broad coalition bringing together 18 major EU civil society organisations (CSOs) and trade unions, has written a joint letter to key EU Commissioners as a follow up to the Annual Growth Survey 2017 (AGS).
In this letter civil society organisations welcome the progress the European Commission has made towards the Annual Growth Survey 2017 being far more connected to the realities – and indeed concerns- of many European citizens today. The European Union is at a crossroads and the Semester Alliance supports and encourages efforts made to be more responsive to these priorities, including the extremely high levels of poverty, precariousness and social exclusion, the high level of unemployment, the deterioration of job quality and the impact of global warming.
In line with this assessment, the European Semester Alliance would like to propose certain elements which are key concerns to European citizens –indeed to the future of the European Union- and which should be further included in the future work of the European Commission and Member States in the Semester process. The European Semester could be a game changer, encouraging Member States and the EU to develop more democratic, sustainable and just transformation. Inaction has a high societal cost as social protection and right-based policies continue to be reduced and polluters do not pay for the damage they cause. Civil society organisations are still quite concerned by the overarching emphasis on growth and structural reforms which require a more comprehensive socio-economic and environmental perspective to put these commitments back on track.
In terms of the positive elements, the Semester Alliance acknowledges and welcomes references to strengthening social rights including equality, inclusiveness and income distribution. It questions nevertheless the absence of any reference to the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Read the full text of the letter below: