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PM Janša: More synergy needed between economic, social and environmetal aspects of our activities

Brussels today, before the start of the spring European Council, was also the venue for the traditional Tripartite Social Summit (TSS), an opportunity for discussion with European social partners at the highest level. Talks today focused on two areas: the Lisbon Strategy and climate and energy issues. Discussions with social partners are important in helping to guide the debate within the European Council, enabling it to take the interests of European business, workers and citizens into consideration.

"We are pleased to note, now that we are on the point of launching the second cycle of the renewed Lisbon Strategy, that we are on the right track with the planned reforms: in recent years we have created 6.5 million new jobs, the unemployment rate has fallen to less than 7% and the foundations of the European economy are sound. We should not, however, rest on our laurels. The global economy is increasingly unstable; it is, therefore, important that we maintain a steady course," emphasised Janez Janša, Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia and President of the European Council, chairing the Social Summit. "It is not enough for just the Member States to assume responsibility for economic and social reform; all the citizens of Europe need to make a commitment to reform," he continued. He mentioned, in addition, the incidental opportunities that climate changes offered European companies and workers, and pointed out that we have to inform EU citizens better about opportunities for them to contribute themselves to reducing CO2 emissions and achieving the Lisbon objectives. He also encouraged Member States to exchange good practices more intensively and to seek greater synergy between economic, social and environmental measures.

Marjeta Cotman, the Slovenian Minister of Labour, Family and Social Affairs, who also participated in the Tripartite Summit, stressed at the meeting that "increasing investment in human capital, modernising labour markets and bolstering social inclusion are indispensable if we wish to provide every individual in the European Union with the possibility of and the opportunity for a dignified, high-quality life and working life. If we really wish to bring the Lisbon Strategy and the national reform programmes closer to the people who live in the European Union, the social dimension needs to be enhanced. The social agenda has a key role in this and, in its new form, it could make a significant contribution to increased social cohesion."

Successive EU Council Presidencies have organised meetings between the social partners and the Presidency Troikas in the margins of European Council meetings since 1997. The Council Decision establishing a Tripartite Social Summit for Growth and Employment institutionalised the arrangement whereby a TSS meeting is held at least once a year immediately before the spring European Council. The Tripartite Social Summit is made up of the current EU Council Presidency and the next two Presidencies (the Troika), the European Commission and the social partners represented at the highest level.


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Date: 13.03.2008