|The EU/IMF Rescue Packages: An "Attack on Social Europe" or a Necessary Step to Restore Confidence?|
23 February 2011, BrusselsIn a letter to the Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Olli Rehn, on 11 January 2011, John Monks expressed ETUC’s concerns regarding the Commission’s implementation of the EU/IMF rescue packages, following reports from Greek and Irish trade unions. He accused the Commission of launching an “attack on social Europe”, issuing diktats pushing for a cut in minimum wages and pensions and in promotion of labour markets’ flexibility, irrespective of social dialogue and collective bargaining processes (read John Monks’ letter here). In a reply to John Monks, the Director General of BusinessEurope, Philippe de Buck, expressed his strong disagreement with both the substance and tone of the accusations, arguing that the Commission acts in compliance with its mandate and that social partners should, at such a critical moment, show a sense of collective responsibility and support exceptional decisions aimed at restoring confidence and stability and at boosting competitiveness and employment (read Philippe de Buck’s letter here).
How will the EU/IMF rescue packages be judged with hindsight? How is their implementation likely to affect social dialogue and industrial relations? Is there a trade-off between restoring market stability and building up citizen’s trust in the EU?
A Citizen's Controversy with Philippe de Buck, Secretary General of BusinessEurope, and John Monks, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).