In a videoconference with European employee and employer representatives, Chancellor Merkel stressed that the European Union is today facing the biggest economic and social challenge since the founding Treaties. She pledged that Germany would “use all the means at our disposal to combat the pandemic and its consequences” during its Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The European recovery fund is an important instrument in these endeavours. It sets an example for investment in sectors with significant potential for the future, such as climate change and the digital transformation, which are already changing our working lives.

The social partners are important to shape Europe

The Chancellor stressed the importance of the social partners in building a social Europe and ensuring social cohesion. “To overcome the crisis, we need a fair and social Europe that is economically strong and fit for the future. We can only achieve this by working together.”

Federal Labour and Social Affairs Minister Hubertus Heil also aims to step up the social dialogue at national and European level. It is about overcoming the crisis and setting the stage for tomorrow. “We want to ensure that digital and environmental transformation is an opportunity.” The aim must be to save jobs and make workers fit for tomorrow’s working world. “I am convinced that we can only master this crisis if the social partners, employers and workers’ representatives, are actively involved,” declared Hubertus Heil.

What is the Tripartite Social Summit?

Twice a year the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the head of state or government holding the Presidency of the Council meet with the European social partners. The summit serves to get the social partners (representatives of employee and employer organisations) more actively involved in the EU’s economic and social policy. The employment and social affairs ministers of the current trio of Presidencies of the Council of the EU also take part. This year, the Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Hubertus Heil thus attended, along with his counterparts from Portugal and Slovenia. The topic of the Tripartite Social Summit was “Implementing together an inclusive economic and social recovery in Europe”.