‘New Social Europe’ to reconcile growth and labour reforms

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, PES president and former Prime Minister of Denmark, presented the hypothesis behind a project complementing the Lisbon agenda.

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, who promotes the concept of ‘flexicurity’ on the labour market, is working together with former Commission president Jacques Delors, and experts like Anna Maria Rodriguez, a Portuguese professor known by some as “the mother of Lisbon”. Together, they will present proposals in December, which aim at reconciling labour market reforms, social inclusion and economic growth. 

Delors and Rasmussen both have a background in the labour movement, and are keen promoters of social dialogue. Mr. Rasmussen, for his part, does not mind major “investments” in social measures and economic growth, and criticised the ECB’s President Trichet for his excessive focus on budgetary discipline. 

On trade with China, Mr. Rasmussen pointed out that reforms in Europe are necessary if one is to avoid a scared public opinion and a protectionist Europe.

Answering a question from EURACTIV on why the ‘New Social Model’ could have more impact with national politicians than the stalled Lisbon Agenda, Mr. Rasmussen stated: “The New Social Europe is in fact a revival of Lisbon. Its balanced approach, with social investments and economic growth, will be more acceptable to national governments. Therefore I am ‘a bit optimistic'”.

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