Social dimension of Economic and Monetary Union

In October 2013, the European Commission committed itself to deepening social integration in the European Union and building a real social dimension to the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). For too long, the EU has focused on solely economic and monetary integration. Now, as Europe’s economy is stagnant and as the social impact of the crisis has just begun to be fully felt in many Member States, the EU is waking up to the social and political needs.

Social dimension of Economic and Monetary Union

Since the Economic and Monetary Union came into being, and more recently since the birth of the so-called European Semester, an instrument for coordinating economic policies, there has been no substantive social dimension to speak of. The European Commission has recently set out proposals for establishing a social scoreboard to be able to monitor and compare areas such as employment and poverty. The scoreboard will detect social imbalances and analyse how unemployment levels are evolving.

The proposals from the Commission on the social dimension also focus on facilitating labour mobility in the EU. By reducing costs and removing current obstacles which individuals face in moving around the EU for work, the Commission hopes to stimulate labour mobility.

Social dialogue needs strengthened according to the European Commission’s self-assessment. To address this, there are proposals in place to consult social partners more, but also in a better way. EU social partners will be consulted in the development of the Annual Growth Survey (the document specific for each Member State which sets out what the Commission believes should be the overall budgetary, economic and social priorities for the coming year in each).

CESI’s position on the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on Strengthening the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union  is available here.