Cut pensions, cap wages: What Brussels really wants

Since 2011 the EU Commission has been trying to steer the economic and financial policies of the euro countries. But the “European Semester” is not socially balanced, as a new report reveals.

The study was presented by left-wing German MEP M. Schirdewan.

Under the title “Überwachen und bestrafen: Das Ende des Wegs für den Stabilitäts- und Wachstumspakt der EU (Monitoring and Punishing: The End of the Road for the EU Stability and Growth Pact)” it documents numerous interventions in the collective bargaining autonomy and social policy of the EU states.

Here is the summary (quote):

Since the introduction of the European Semester in 2011 to 2018, the Commission has called on the individual member states to raise the statutory retirement age and/or reduce public spending on pensions and retirement provisions. There have been since then:

– 63 calls for governments to cut spending on health care and/or to outsource or privatise health services.

– Member States have been called on 50 times to curb wage growth, while instructions to reduce job security, employment protection against dismissal and the rights of workers and unions to collective bargaining have been issued 38 times.

– In addition to routine demands to reduce public spending on social services in general, the Commission has made 45 specific demands to reduce or eliminate benefits for the unemployed, vulnerable people and people with disabilities, including through punitive measures to force these people into the labour market.

To be sure, the recommendations are generally not implemented – the “European Semester” is a flop, as are the increasingly numerous EU rules for monetary union.

Nevertheless, the report shows that the social balance of the EU Commission and its recommendations is not far off – despite recent talks of a “more social” EUrope…

The report can be found here (external website of the Left party in German). More on thre Eurozone governance here. The original blogpost in German is here

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