On 6 and 7 March 2014, the Workers' Group organised an extraordinary meeting in Athens on the occasion of the Greek presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The meeting on the 6th of March was devoted to a mid-term evaluation of the Greek presidency by Ioannis Vroutsis, Minister of Labour, Social Security and Welfare, with interventions from representatives of the Greek trade unions.
In order to link the Greek and the Italian presidencies and to prepare the next extraordinary meeting of the Group in Italy, a delegation of the Italian National Council of Economy and Labour (CNEL) presented the priorities of the Italian EU presidency.
Another point on the agenda was the presentation of the current social and economic situation in Greece from a trade union perspective.
On the 7th of March, the meeting focused on the future democratic governance of the EU and the role of the European Parliament, particularly in the run-up to the forthcoming European elections. Democratic legitimacy was also the focus of a debate on the role and operation of the Troika. Alejandro Cercas, rapporteur of the Parliament, and Ronald Janssen, author of the ETUC study on the same subject, took the floor.
Finally, participants discussed ways in which Europe, faced with the present crisis, could put in place solutions other than austerity policies, as the latter only lead to a deterioration of living conditions while keeping the economy locked in a vicious circle of recession.
Participants in the session of 7 March included MEPs Nikos Chrysogelos (Greens), Alejandro Cercas (S&D) and Nikos Chountis (GUE).