IndustriAll European Trade Union is calling for a progressive reform of the European Union’s economic governance framework. This comes in direct response to the European Commission’s relaunch of the public debate on the issue.
A reform of the EU economic governance framework that promotes social reform and addresses inequalities is urgently needed to allow the necessary investments to deliver the EU’s decarbonisation and digitalisation agendas in a fair and inclusive way. Without such a progressive reform, Europe might return to the harsh pre-pandemic economic and fiscal rules. Supportive fiscal policies required for transforming the European industry into a green and digital global leader might end. It might also mean a return to the austerity and the frugal policies adopted after the 2008-2009 financial crisis, which threw the European economy into a deep recession.
Europe must continue to show that it has learned from past mistakes, as it has been doing since the start of the COVID-19 crisis by choosing supportive fiscal and economic measures. These measures have kept the economy running and have prevented a disastrous scenario. A premature exit must be avoided at all costs. Inequalities have already increased considerably during the pandemic, regardless if we speak about economic inequality, access to education, or the state of the digitalisation and the decarbonisation of industry in different European countries. The gaps will only widen unless progressive fiscal and economic policies are put in place to allow the necessary investments in all Member States.
Isabelle Barthès, industriAll Europe’s Deputy General Secretary, said:
“The recovery was presented by political leaders as a promise to ‘build back better’. A quick return to economic and monetary discipline would be a huge mistake and would make many of the recovery and transformation efforts redundant.
State intervention has delivered for all. Europe needs to show that it has learned from past mistakes of harsh austerity and fiscal orthodoxy. We cannot afford to make the same mistakes at a time when anti-democratic movements and populism are growing, and the climate crisis is intensifying.”
IndustriAll Europe will participate in the European Commission’s public consultation on the review of the EU’s economic governance framework. Our response will be in line with our position paper that argues for “An economic governance supporting ‘a better green and digital normal’ that works for all”. The paper lists our demands towards policymakers and employers. We will advocate for these demands, together with our members, during the upcoming months.