The topic of the Tripartite Social Summit was "Implementing together an inclusive economic and social recovery in Europe". The discussions were structured around the following questions:
-How can the Resilience and Recovery Facility best support economic growth, job creation and social resilience necessary for a socially fair recovery?
-How can the EU's recovery funds best contribute to achieving the new EU 2030 climate target?
-How can the recovery accelerate a fair digital transition and foster opportunities for workers and SMEs?
-What role for social dialogue in ensuring the success of NextGenerationEU?
The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: “We want to recover from this crisis together. We need everyone on board and dialogue between governments and social partners is key to our success. This will make sure that NextGenerationEU will help member states kick-start their economies, support businesses, especially SMEs, and create jobs all over Europe. Investing in the green and digital transition will help us revitalise our economy and bring benefits to every company and every worker across our Union.”
The President of the European Council Charles Michel stated: “The historic deal 27 member states reached in July will increase Europe's capacity to overcome the pandemic's fallout. Social partners are playing a central role in articulating an effective response to the crisis and they will continue to do so in the implementation of the Recovery plan. This Tripartite Social Summit is a necessary opportunity to act together. The Recovery Plan is essentially a transformation plan and workers and companies are at the forefront of this massive transformation. We are joining forces to promote a green, digital and fair recovery that boosts growth and creates jobs for all Europeans.”
From the side of the rotating presidency, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, underlined: “The European Union is facing the biggest economic and social challenge since the founding Treaties. During our Council Presidency, we will continue to use all the means at our disposal to combat the pandemic and its consequences. The European Recovery Fund is an important instrument in these endeavours. It sets an example for investment in sectors with significant potential for the future, such as climate change and the digital transformation, which are already changing our working lives. It is precisely during times of crisis such as this that it is vital for the social partners to get involved and play a part in shaping change. They are crucial to the process of building a social Europe and ensuring social cohesion. To overcome the crisis, we need a fair and social Europe that is economically strong and fit for the future. We can only achieve this by working together.”
The General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Luca Visentini, said: “The EU's recovery plan is a positive change from past austerity. 45 million workers at risk of unemployment, and those in essential services, deserve a socially just, greener digital future. It must bring fair pay through stronger collective bargaining and reducing inequalities, particularly for those in undervalued and precarious jobs, often done by women. Recovery funds should only be paid to countries that uphold the rule of law, and only to companies that respect workers' rights. It must also involve partnership with unions and employers to shape European and national recovery plans, and to ensure a socially just transition to a climate-friendly economy. EU emergency measures to save jobs must continue until the recovery is up and running and important EU legislative initiatives such as those on fair minimum wages, pay transparency, minimum income and due diligence have to be brought forward.”
BusinessEurope's President, Pierre Gattaz, representing employers, (BusinessEurope, CEEP, SMEunited), said: “All the EU actions during the next year must focus on making sure that the financial package, agreed by the European Council in July to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, reaches enterprises and workers rapidly. Boosting investment to create new jobs and supporting viable businesses of all sizes, in particular SMEs, as well as their workers should be at the core of Europe's crisis response. This requires to invest in the right projects and implement the necessary reforms to generate the growth necessary to recover from today's crisis, and make the life of future generations better. Besides the strong focus on the green and digital transitions, we welcome the strengthening of key industrial value chains and ecosystems as well as essential EU infrastructures and services of general interest. As European employers, our priority is to make sure that the financial support under the new MFF and Next Generation EU enables enterprises to invest, grow and create jobs.”
The Tripartite Social Summit takes place twice a year ahead of European Council meetings. It is an opportunity for a constructive exchange of views between the leaders of the European institutions, the Head of State or Government holding the Presidency of the Council, and the Employment and Social Affairs Ministers of the current trio of Presidencies of the Council of the EU (Germany, Portugal, Slovenia), as well as the leaders of European and national employee and employer organisations of these Presidency countries.