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Invest in Europe’s workforce to boost competitiveness


02 Mar 2023


Global Europe

Working conditions, wages and sustainability – these can be pillars for the long-term competitiveness and productivity of Europe’s economy, European socialist ministers said today.

Meeting ahead of today’s EU Competitiveness Council, progressives convened in hybrid format to discuss the EU’s response to the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Meeting Chair, Romanian Minister of Economy, Florin Spătaru said:

“High quality jobs, in high quality and sustainable industries: this is how we make Europe competitive for the future.

“We must not miss the opportunity to introduce social conditionality into the framework for public subsidies. It will be important to make sure that any public support for companies is also a support for its workers, linked to improved working conditions, wages and environmental targets. That is how we build the competitive Europe we a striving for.

“The Single Market is a precious asset when it comes to the EU’s global competitiveness. It will be important to ward against moves which risk undermining its level-playing field. Social and territorial cohesion across the Union must not be undermined.”

At its last meeting in February, the PES Presidency adopted a declaration – Supporting Green Deal Industries for Quality European Jobs – setting out six principles that should define the EU’s response to the IRA: sustainability, fairness, flexibility, sovereignty, solidarity, and conditionality.

Europe’s social democrat family is working to protect jobs, progress an ambitious climate agenda which invests more in green technologies, and boost Europe’s resilience and strategic independence amidst heightened geopolitical fragmentations.

The meeting also took stock of European Commission proposals for a Regulation on short-term rentals. The PES wants to see the right balance struck between tourism – a vital sector for social cohesion, employment and economic growth – and communities – many of which continue to experience significant shortage of affordable housing.


The meeting was attended by:

  • Florin Spătaru, Meeting Chair, Minister of Economy, Romania
  • Ville Kopra, State Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Finland
  • Matevž Frangež, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy, Tourism and Sport, Slovenia
  • Rosa Ana Morillo, Secretary of State for Tourism, Spain
  • Mohammed Chahim, Vice-President for a Green New Deal, S&D Group in the European Parliament
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, Party of European Socialists


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