Aims and priorities

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) speaks with a single voice on behalf of European workers to have a stronger say in EU decision-making.

United action for Social Europe

The ETUC aims to ensure that the EU is not just a single market for goods and services, but is also a Social Europe, where improving the wellbeing of workers and their families is an equally important priority. The European social model – until the onset of the crisis – helped Europe to become a prosperous, competitive region with high living standards.

Quality jobs, workers’ rights and a fair society

The ETUC defends fundamental social values such as solidarity, equality, democracy, social justice and cohesion.

It fights for:

  • pay rises for workers
  • full implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights
  • high quality jobs for all
  • a high level of social protection
  • gender equality and fair pay
  • good health and safety at work
  • freedom of movement for European workers, and an end to social dumping
  • high quality public services accessible to all
  • a European framework to raise the standard of national social legislation
  • action to combat climate change while promoting a Just Transition for workers
  • promotion of these European social values in other parts of the world

The last ETUC Congress in Berlin in May 2023 adopted a Manifesto that lays out demands inclusing a ban on public funding for companies which refuse to recognise unions or bargain collectively; the regulation of Artificial Intelligence in the workplace based on the ‘human in control’ principle; preventing a return to austerity and new EU economic rules which put people and planet first; the full and fast implementation of the Equal Pay Directive; ensuring no workers are left behind in the transition to a green and digital economy; increasing trade union membership as a bulwark against the rise of the far right.