GOTHENBURG, Sweden – Angela Merkel’s absence with the EU’s big social summit?is inexcusable, according to a?leading architect within the bloc’s ambitious new Pillar of Social Rights.
The German chancellor, the?Continent’s highest-profile conservative, will not be attending the product in Sweden because negotiations over the new governing coalition in Germany go right down to the wire.
But that’s a lame excuse, in accordance with Maria Jo?o Rodrigues, a Portuguese MEP who may have worked inside the upper echelons of the EU for decades and became a power behind the new European Pillar of Social Rights, including a persistence to wide-ranging protections for workers, families and retirees.
“In my situation this argument is not really acceptable,” said Rodrigues, a member of the Socialists and Democrats, Europe’s main center-left group.
Most other 27 EU leaders are hoped for to go to the summit on Friday, that is being hosted by Swedish Pm?Stefan L?fven and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Nicos Anastasiades, the president of Cyprus, and?Juha Sipil?, pm of Finland, are likely to miss the summit.
“You can put this to the record,” said a visibly angry Rodrigues. “The argument that they is running difficult negotiations with the coalition, OK everybody knows this is. Even so can not be a quarrel for just a top European leader to generally be absent within a summit given that the message the girl with conveying is usually that ‘I\’m able to be negligent with regards to the social dimension in the European project.’ And that is an unacceptable message to deliver in the current situation.”
“She actually is the key figure from the conservative family in Europe, the center-right community. She is not another person,” said Rodrigues, who led the eu Parliament’s work towards the Social Pillar
The bad feelings over Merkel’s absence echo?the strains that emerged between Southern and northern Europe in the solution to the eurozone crisis, in which advocates of austerity policies, led by Germany, were seen as inflicting unduly harsh punishment?because of the countries hit hardest through the crisis, like Portugal and Greece, in return for financial bailouts.
The Social Pillar doesn\’t impose any requirements on EU countries but lays out a collection of 20 principles created to frame future policies and safeguard the EU’s social welfare programs. During a panel discussion hosted from the European Trade Union Confederation on Thursday, Rodrigues said she hoped the new Social Pillar would influence a multitude of ambitious policymaking through the EU, like progression of a new multi-year budget plan.
This article continues to be updated with new details on attendance at the summit.