Social Dimension of EMU paper a ‘belated and weakened’ attempt to redress neglect of social policy by Barroso Commission


PES President Sergei Stanishev

Andor praised for rearguard action to save employment and social developments ‘scoreboard’ The Communication on the strengthening of the social dimension of Economic and Monetary Union is a “belated but weakened attempt to address the imbalance of this Commission’s neglect of European social policy”, says Party of European Socialists President (PES), Sergei Stanishev. “While it is welcome that the Communication has been published at all, the contents will need serious concrete follow up if the proposal is to have any meaningful impact on the lives of ordinary Europeans”, said Mr. Stanishev.

“The provision for a scoreboard to follow employment and social developments is welcome but will need to be bolstered by other measures. Social Cohesion policies must be strengthened, especially in the commitment to the European Social Fund. In particular, the measures to tackle youth unemployment must be ‘up-front and centre’ in the battle against the social cost of the crisis. This means that member countries must try to add to the 6 billion set aside for the ‘youth guarantee’.”

<“For the fact that the Communication contains any concrete measures at all, credit must go to social affairs Commissioner Laszlo Andor. He has fought tooth and nail for the concerns of ordinary working people. Unfortunately the Commission is populated by too many intransigent Conservative Commissioners who failed to see the importance of a strong social dimension to EU policy”, concluded the PES President.

The communication follows the initiative of François Hollande and other social democratic Prime Ministers. The Party of European Socialists mobilised political forces to ensure that the ‘scoreboard’ was not also deleted from the text.

The five indicators are:

  1. unemployment level and changes;
  2. NEET rate (young people not in education, employment or training) and youth unemployment rate;
  3. real gross disposable income of households;
  4. at-risk-of-poverty rate of working age population;
  5. inequalities (S80/S20 ratio).