Unions have held an anti-austerity demonstration as EU leaders met in Brussels.
They say it is time to change course on spending cuts and labour reforms.
They argue such policies are deepening Europe’s economic woes, putting the continent’s much-vaunted social model at risk.
“Europe is impoverishing people of all classes across the continent in an inhumane and criminal way,” said one protester.
One man on the march said he opposed the attack on welfare state spending.
“We are rising up to protect the social rights that our grandparents fought for,” he told euronews.
The European Commission’s own forecasts make for gloomy reading.
Growth in the eurozone will shrink by 0.3 percent in 2013, whilst unemployment is predicted to hit 12.2 percent in the single currency area by the end of the year.