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Standards – a beauty contest?
When Anthony Gardner, US Ambassador to the EU, said in a recent debate on TTIP that the question of safeguarding standards “is not a beauty contest”, many thought that we Europeans were on the “good side” and had to defend our high standards against downward convergence. Without any doubt trade unions and civil society will continue to urge the ratification and respect of ILO conventions, for social protection, for collective bargaining and for social and public services. There our opinion has not changed and will not change! We expect the EU negotiators to defend at least our social and other standards, including the public procurement directive, but we know that we are not in confrontation with the US. SOLIDAR will soon publish a book with contributions from progressives from both sides of the Atlantic who share the same concerns and similar positions. A genuine contribution to transatlantic dialogue which is badly needed!
Civil society and NGOs joining forces once more on the flaws and fallacies of TTIP
On 10 October, NGOs and trade unions together with civil society will mobilise in Berlin for a big demonstration against TTIP, the trade and investment partnership agreement currently being negotiated between the EU and the US.
One of the main concerns around this agreement is the foreseen investor-state dispute settlement mechanism for private investors. This so-called ISDS would allow companies based in the US to sue EU governments for loss of profit if they feel encumbered by national legislation (e.g. stricter environmental or health legislation). The same goes in the other direction for EU companies being able to sue the US administration.
SOLIDAR congratulates the new leadership that has been elected at the European Trade Union Confederation’s (ETUC) Congress today in Paris. We’re looking forward working with Luca Vinsentini, General Secretary, and Rudy Deleeuw, President, and the entire team to continue our fight to advance social justice and a Social Europe.
Commissioner Thyssen meets Social NGOs for a civil dialogue on the social agenda
The day after another Commission’s college meeting Marianne Thyssen, DG Employment had invited social NGOs to discuss on “Forging common action to achieve the Social Triple A for the EU”.
For Commissioner Thyssen civil dialogue is a mutual engagement at a time when there is a real momentum for Social Europe at EU-level and in Member States. Economic governance needs a social pillar. Although the Commission has taken some initiatives, inequality is raising as well as the divergences between and within Member States.