16.11.2016

Social partners reach agreement on a common line for EU exit negotiations with UK

The European social partners reached agreement on a common position vis-à-vis Brexit, EFSI and an industrial policy strategy at the tripartite social summit. The biannual meeting of the European social partners with the European Commission and EU Council Presidency is always held on the day before the spring and autumn EU summits.
Against the backdrop of the upcoming exit negotiations with the United Kingdom, the European social partners adopted a clear position on free movement at the autumn social summit. In their joint position, BUSINESSEUROPE, ETUC, CEEP and UEAPME signalled a clear rejection of any cherry-picking tactics. The four fundamental freedoms (free movement of goods, services, capital and persons) are inseparably linked for a good reason. They are the cornerstone of the European single market and a guarantee for its success, for growth, employment and prosperity.

Nevertheless, the European social partners also warned with respect to the British referendum that negative consequences for workers and companies should be kept at a minimum. Furthermore, they support the extension of the European Fund for Strategic Investments. In addition, they urged the European Commisssion to include an “ambitious” strategy for industrial policy in the 2017 work programme. Director General Markus Beyrer (BUSINESSEUROPE) and General Secretary Luca Visentini (ETUC) had previously called for greater commitment to a flourishing European economy in a letter to First Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans.