The main objective of the hearing was to present and discuss the European Semester Alliance’s assessment of the European Semester’s 2016 Annual Growth Survey and its report of the European Semester’s 2015 Country-specific recommendations. Formally themed ‘The Annual Growth Survey behind, the European Semester ahead: What proposals to make Europe 2020 more social, democratic and sustainable?’, the hearing saw interventions by the hosting MEPs Marian Harkin (ALDE) and Sergio Gutiérrez-Prieto (S&D) as well as their colleagues Sofia Ribeiro (EPP), Gabriele Zimmer (GUE/NGL), Jean Lambert (Greens/EFA) and Enrique Calvet Chambon (ALDE). Massimo Suardi, Deputy head of Commissioner Dombrovskis’ cabinet, spoke on behalf of the European Commission.
A hearing on the European Semester at a timely moment
The hearing took place at a timely moment, with deliberations on the 2016 European Semester process having recently begun to unfold: The European Commission published the Annual Growth Survey 2016 towards the end of last year and the European Parliament finalised its own-initiative report on employment and social aspects in the Annual Growth Survey 2016 just two weeks ago.
CESI: European Semester focus on quality jobs is still lacking
While speakers representing other European Semester Alliance members intervened on environmental (Green Budget Europe), social (Age Platform) and gender equality-related (European Women’s Lobby) merits and shortcomings in the European Semester, CESI Policy Advisor Hendrik Meerkamp presented a trade unionist perspective, highlighting in particular that an overarching focus on job creation and quality work is still missing.
The European Semester Alliance is a broad coalition bringing together 14 major European civil society organisations and trade unions, representing thousands of member organisations on the ground at European, national and local levels in the European Union. The European Semester Alliance aims to support progress towards a more democratic, social and sustainable Europe 2020 Strategy, through strengthening civil dialogue engagement in the European Semester at national and EU levels. Visit the European Semester Alliance’s website for further information. As a member of the European Semester Alliance, CESI works to stress the importance of worker rights and the role that strong public services (and hence the several million public sector workers it represents) play in providing services that are crucial for the state to function and for the societies to prosper.