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20150707 EP 023126 087 RESIZED XL Fred Marvauxcopyright© European Union 2015 Sourceep

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Juncker: “We cannot build a harmonious EU without dealing with social issues”

03 May · 12h10

Jean-Claude Juncker, former President of the European Commission © Photographer: Fred Marvaux, European Union 2015 - sourceEP

The former President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, believes that it is “of prime importance” to make progress in the social area, something he attempted to promote 24 years ago, because “we cannot build a harmonious EU without dealing with social issues”.

“In 1997, when I was Prime Minister of Luxembourg, I organised a social summit. And one of the conclusions of that summit was that we should have meetings like that once a year. That never happened”, he said.
“When I and others launched the Social Pillar, I expected the social issue to become an everyday subject”, he added.

Pointing out that “since then, the European Commission has launched an action plan, under the leadership of the Commissioner for Social Affairs, Nicolas Schmit”, for the implementation of the principles contained in the Pillar, Juncker said that he hopes “that during these two days in Porto, the social partners and institutions will be able to reach an agreement on a document aimed at the future”, one that assures that all recommendations on social initiatives “will become a reality”.

According to Jean-Claude Juncker, “this is a very important moment in European development because the social issue must be central to European concerns, not only in terms of social partners, but also with regard to governments”.

“We cannot build a harmonious European Union if we don't deal with the social issues. And, as far as I can see, we now have everything we need on the table to allow the European Union to make some progress in the social area; this is of prime importance”, he stressed.

 

*in collaboration with LUSA