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Monday, 17. October 2016. 14:59

Interparliamentary Conference in Bratislava begins

Within the parliamentary dimension of the semi-annual Slovak presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union has been opened in Bratislava today

At the beginning of the two-day conference, the participants were greeted by Mr Andrej Hrnčiar, Deputy Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic. He pointed out that this type of conference, aimed at the exchange of opinions on common interest issues, such as strengthening of the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union, represented a useful platform for promotion of interparliamentary cooperation. The participants were greeted by Chair of the Financial and Budgetary Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic Mr Ladislav Kamenický and Professor of international relations at the Faculty of Political Sciences and International Relations at the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica Mr Igor Kosír. It was pointed out that the Conference provided a framework for exchange of information and best practice in implementation of the provisions of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union, and that the goal was to contribute to strengthening the democratic legitimacy and accountability in the field of economic governance and budgetary policy, especially in the Economic and Monetary Union.

The focus of the first session was strengthening of the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union. The need for intensification of structural reforms which should enable more favourable conditions for growth of the economy, better functioning of the labour market and the increase of employment, with special emphasis on the youth employment was emphasised. Furthermore, the need for reducing the existing barriers with regard to cross-border mobility of labour force in the EU and strengthening of the role of social dialogue through appropriate participation of social partners was pointed out. It was said that a series of initiatives was taken with regard to strengthening of social priorities and the need for supplementing the acquis in the field of social rights, and that establishing the European Pillar of Social Rights was expected in March 2017 at the EU Summit in Rome. At that time 60 years since the founding of the EU will also be marked.

It was pointed out that the pillar should become a reference framework for examination of employment and social performance in which member states participated, and that it should launch a reform process on the national level and serve as a compass for renewal of convergence in the eurozone.

The session was moderated by Mr Ľuboš Blaha, Chair of the European Affairs Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, while the participants were addressed by: Ms Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility; Ms Maria João Rodrigues, member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, European Parliament; Mr Michael Smyth, Vice-President of the European Economic and Social Committee; and Mr Zsolt Darvas, Research Fellow at the Institute of Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Associate Professor at the Corvinus University of Budapest.

Following the introductory remarks, a panel debate was opened, during which the participants in the Conference had the opportunity to comment the views of the panellists.

In continuation of today’s work of the Conference, a session is held dedicated to the topic of prevention of tax evasion in the EU, while on the second day of the Conference the sessions will be held on the topics “Automatic Stabilisers as a Building Block of the Fiscal Union Architecture” and “Common Investment Programme as a Tool for Macroeconomic Stabilisation in the EU”.

Delegation of the Parliament of Montenegro also participates in the Conference, and it has an official status of the observer of the Interparliamentary Conference, considering that Montenegro is a candidate for the membership in the EU. Delegation consists of the Chairperson of the Committee on Economy, Finance and Budget of the Parliament of Montenegro Mr Aleksandar Damjanović and member of the Committee Mr Veljko Zarubica.