Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sent a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the chairpersons of the Rome Summit, asking whether the European social model, particularly with respect to labor relations and collective bargaining, applies to all EU member-states or to all member-states excluding Greece.
In his letter, communicated to the heads of all 27 member-states, the Greek PM stresses, “Greece has been in programs of economic adjustment for the last 7 years, in the name of which a situation of exception from our common European acquis has been implicitly imposed. Most notably this relates to the exception from the European acquis on social rights and specifically the exception from ‘best practices’ on labor relations and collective bargaining”. “We fully respect the commitments we undertook […] which we have followed strictly”, writes PM Tsipras adding, “Nevertheless, we cannot understand demands that go beyond these commitments, like the prolongation of the exception of Greece from the European social acquis. This demand, after all, leads to an unjustified delay of the conclusion of the second review of the Greek economic program”. “It is evident that the responsibility for defining the policy framework and its institutional boundaries within the EU, does not belong to non-European supranational organizations, but exclusively to European institutions and the intergovernmental bodies of the European Union”, he notes.