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Commenting on the European Commission's 'Reflection Paper on Globalisation', ETUC Confederal Secretary Liina Carr said:

"It has taken a long time for the European Commission to acknowledge that globalisation has to be fairer. Better late than never! Trade unions have long been calling for a fairer distribution of the benefits of globalisation, and finally we see this confirmed in the Commission's Reflection Paper on Harnessing Globalisation.

"The answer to globalisation is not to close borders – to trade or to people – but to apply rules that prevent a downward race to lower wages, bad employment conditions, social dumping and exploitation, and multinational companies dodging tax and avoiding labour law.

"The ETUC is pleased to see the Commission take up our demands for better social security provision, improved skills and education, measures to ensure fair public procurement, transparent trade agreements, enforcement of ILO labour standards, and overall wealth redistribution.

"But the paper does not go far enough. Collective bargaining must be promoted at European as well as global level. There is reference to strong enforcement of rules, and sanctions on companies that break them, without saying how this will be achieved.

"The proposals on tax justice do not meet ETUC demands for companies to publish mandatory, public, country-by-country reports of their activities. And while the Globalisation Adjustment Fund is an important initiative, it's not enough. To meet today's challenges, more resources must be committed not only to the GAF but also to other EU structural funds.

"The Reflection Paper is full of great sentiments, which the ETUC welcomes. There is finally a general recognition that globalisation in its current form is creating unacceptable inequalities. But we need much more clarity about how these proposals will be implemented, and we will be active in pressing the Commission to maintain and enforce its commitments."

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