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Labour rights and social convergence: a Europe of common values

Extraordinary meeting of the Workers' Group

On the agenda:

Debate on the achievements of the Romanian EU Presidency with the Romanian Government.

Convergence, social rights, labour mobility and the landscape after the last elections.

The Workers' Group will use the occasion of its extraordinary meeting in Bucharest, which it is organising in the framework of the Romanian presidency, among others to have a first reflection on the results of the recent European elections.

On the first day of the meeting, Oliver Röpke, President of the Workers' Group, will welcome the participants after which Romanian Prime Minister Vasilica-Viorica Dăncilă is invited to hold a keynote speech.

The first part of the debate, in which Marius-Constantin Budăi, Minister of Labour and Social Justice, is also expected to participate, will focus on the social achievements of the Romanian EU Presidency  from the point of view of labour mobility, employment and convergence of social rights. Participants will also discuss future challenges in achieving sustainable and equal development opportunities for all workers in Europe. Statements are expected by Iacob Baciu, President of the Romanian ESC and President of the CSDR, Bogdan Iuliu Hossu, President of CARTEL ALFA, Dumitru Costin, President of BNS, Sorin Leonard Bărăscu, President of CNSLR-Fratia, and Ion Popescu, President of MERIDIAN.

The Workers' Group will then go on to discuss the results of the recent European elections and what these can mean for the future of the European project. For many years now, one of the key demands of the EESC Workers' Group has been for a European Union that delivers for the many, not for the few. So far, the EU has failed to make this a reality, feeding into people's disillusionment as a result of their worsening living conditions. These shortcomings seriously endanger democracy by pushing citizens towards extremist forces. Even though the far-right, Eurosceptic and nationalist parties did not make the anticipated breakthrough in the EU elections, the new EP coalition and the future EU leaders cannot afford to waste any more time. The EU desperately needs a new Social Contract and a sustainable economic model based on social justice and climate action in order to make a difference in people's lives. The debate will kick off with a speech by Luca Visentini, General Secretary of ETUC.

The second part of the meeting will focus on a number of overarching issues that the sections of the European Economic and Social Committee are currently dealing with, which will be presented by Workers' Group members who are section Presidents.