Treaty revision: Stop to the punishment squad and work for Social progress

Brussels, 15/12/2010

It has been widely reported that the Treaty amendment to be agreed by the European Council will say that "Member states whose currency is the euro may establish amongst themselves a stability mechanism to safeguard the stability of the euro area as a whole. The granting of financial assistance under the mechanism will be made subject to strict conditions."

ETUC General Secretary John Monks has written to the President of the Council Herman Van Rompuy saying “It is clear once more that the focus is on financial discipline at the expense of the wider objectives enshrined in the Treaties. The Heads of State and Government should remember that weakening the social market economy and other positive aspects of the Treaties will turn people against Europe. The EU should stop acting like a punishment squad and in particular strictly respect the key objectives of high employment, high social and regional cohesion, as defined in Article 6, and not breach the autonomy of collective bargaining as reflected in Article 153 of the Treaty”.

He also asked that, as there is to be a revision of the treaty, the Council should include the ETUC’s proposal for a social progress protocol to redress the balance between the fundamental right to collective bargaining and the four freedoms of the single market. He said: “At present decisions of the European Court of Justice are suggesting that free movement is absolute and over-rules fundamental rights. This cannot be right and a Social Progress Protocol would clarify the situation.”

- ETUC letter: :