Comments by Mr. Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Member of the Convention On the Preliminary Draft Report of the Working Group XI Social Europe (IV)
Comments by Mr. Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis,
Member of the Convention
On the Preliminary Draft Report of the Working Group XI Social Europe
Following our debates on 21-22 January 2003 I would like to submit the following proposals to the preliminary draft report of the Working Group XI Social Europe:
1. I suggest that in addition to human dignity, fundamental rights, democracy, the rule of law, tolerance, respect for obligations and for international law the values of the Union contained in Article 2 of the preliminary draft Constitutional Treaty also include:
equality, in particular equality between men and women,
2. The general objectives of the Union contained in Article 3 of the preliminary draft Constitutional Treaty should include the following social objectives:
full employment instead of promotion of a high level of employment or promotion of full employment. In my opinion there is a substantial difference between the objective of full employment and the objective of promotion of full employment. I therefore, suggest including the former.
social market economy, rather than other suggested options like European social model or open market economy.
high degree of social protection,
equality between men and women,
universal access to efficient and high-quality services of general interest,
high level of public health. In view of modern-day challenges I would be willing to support action at the EU level in two specific health-related areas: protection against communicable diseases and bioterrorism.
3. After hearing the arguments of several members of the working group, I think that the exceptions of Article 137(6) TEC concerning the exclusive competence of the members states to regulate pay, the right of association, the right to strike, the right to impose lock-outs can be stricken out. Indeed, they are obsolete and their absence in the Treaty seems to make no effect on the distribution of competences between the EU and the member states.
I am also in favour of regrouping the current Treaty provisions related to social matters and concentrating them in a single chapter on the Unions social policy. Placing such a chapter next to the chapter on Unions economic policy would give it an appropriate weight and visibility.
4. I agree with the predominant majority of the members of the group that a provision on the open method of coordination should be inserted in the Constitutional Treaty and suggest following Prof. Frank Vandenbrouckes formula in doing so.
5. As to the coordination of economic and social policies, I support Mr. Adrian Severin and other colleagues in the working group who advocate for a provision on structured social dialogue at the EU level and formalising of the social tripartite summits prior to the spring meetings of the European Council.
6. As to the extension of qualified majority voting (QMV), I agree with Prof. Frank Vandenbrouckes proposals to apply QMV to the technical coordination of social security systems and to the declaration of all European collective agreements as legally binding.
22 January 2003