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Press Release
Jean-Claude Juncker and François Biltgen received a delegation from the ETUC

Date of release : 27-01-2005

Policy area : Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs

Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, current President of the European Council, and Labour and Employment Minister François Biltgen, President of the EPSCO Council (Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs) received a delegation from the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) on Thursday, 27 January 2005. The delegation was led by General Secretary John Monks and the presidents of Luxembourg’s two largest unions, Robert Weber (LCGB) and Jean-Claude Reding (OGB-L).

The topics of the meeting were the priorities of the Luxembourg Presidency of the European Union Council in general and the mid-term review of the Lisbon process in particular.

The representatives of the ETUC and the Presidency realized that their views were very much the same in that the review of the Lisbon Process should not be solely for the purpose of improving European economic competitiveness, but it must observe the three pillars of the Lisbon process, namely: economic, social and environmental.

"We must ensure that the social and environmental components are not relegated to a lower status," Jean-Claude Juncker stated while pleading for better coordination and legibility of the Lisbon strategy, particularly with regard to streamlining the various processes (known as Luxembourg, Cardiff and Cologne) that accompany it.

For Jean-Claude Juncker, a consistent approach would entail the preparation of a three-year action program to include, at the European level, the Lisbon process, the employment guidelines, and the broad economic policy guidelines. According to the Presidency, implementation would essentially be only for Member States via national action plans.

Other issues discussed during the meeting were the "working time" directive, the directive on services, and the review of the Stability and Growth Pact.

This page was last modified on : 28-01-2005

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