Social Policy : Pes Calls in Berlin for Launch of Social Europe

Article excerpt

The issue of social europe was on the agenda of the european Socialists, when they gathered for an extraordinary plenary session in Berlin on 6 and 7 November.

All delegates acknowledged the need to 'relaunch social Europe' and 'place emphasis on the most impoverished'. 'Let's do something courageous together in 2007,' said Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, the guest of honour at the session, who put the case for global governance. 'The new dream for Europe. Investing in people', Gunther Schmid, a Professor of economic policy theory at the Free University of Berlin explained. 'Europe needs a cunning' growth strategy', according to Allan Larsson, one of the fathers of the Lisbon Strategy, a professor at the University of Lund (Sweden).

COMMENTS BY HARLEM DESIR

'There is a growing awareness that we cannot recover the confidence of citizens if there is no improvement on the employment front,' Harlem Desir (PES, France), who closed the session, told Europolitics. 'The German Presidency [which takes up the EU helm on 1 January] must be a relaunching Presidency'. Without neglecting institutional aspects, this relaunching of Europe requires action on fundamental questions and notably social issues.

'There is a body of dossiers on which we are awaiting a (legislative) solution: general services, working time, European works committees, part-time workers, atypical employment, implementation conditions for posting of workers,' the PES group's vice-president explained. …