Responding to the State of the Union Address, ETUC General Secretary Eshter Lynch said:
“Today’s speech was future-focussed. It commits the EU to build a future based on a fair and just transition with decent jobs. The challenges of guardrails for AI were recognised along with the importance of childcare for workers.
“We welcome President von der Leyen's call for a social partners’ summit next year to put Jacques Delors’ vision of a social Europe back on track. This is a vote of confidence in trade unions and business working together as social partners. Workers and their trade unions have plans for a fair deal and we are ready to negotiate.
“However, there were no solutions for workers struggling today with the cost-of-living crisis or fearful of losing their jobs.
"The elephant in the room was the EU's current proposals to reintroduce fiscal rules. A lot is at stake: a return to austerity will force member states to make 45 billion of cuts, leading to fewer jobs, lower pay, underfunded services and less investment in the green and digital transitions.
“On top of that, the President highlighted a SME deregulation drive with a competitiveness check by an opaque board, that is not democratic. This has every risk of making progress on employment rights and the safety of workers and the environment more difficult.”