Held on 20 March 2014, ahead of the Spring EU Council, the Tripartite Social Summit brought together EU’s social partners, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (representing the rotating EU presidency). The discussions concerned the economic situation in the EU, the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy and recent Commission proposals on industrial competitiveness, climate and energy. They also covered youth unemployment and social dialogue in connection with the ‘European semester’ for coordination of economic policies.
The social partners seized the momentum of the Summit to draw the attention of Europe’s leaders to the critical situation of EU labour markets and the EU’s lack of progress on achieving the social targets of the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy. They highlighted failures in the process and implementation of the European Semester and agreed on the need for further collective efforts to pursue sustainable economic growth, while ensuring social cohesion and quality employment.