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On 28 June 2017, CEEP will hold its third Public Services Summit. The event will be held in Brussels, and you are welcome to register here.

DRAFT AGENDA (invited speakers)

9:30-9:45: Introduction by Katherina REICHE, CEEP President

9:45-11:15: Future of Europe: the big picture

Brexit, populism, terrorism, the need for re-defining the concept of security and to gain back the citizens’ trust: Discussion with Donald Tusk, President of the European Council

From the changing face of terrorism and the rise of populism to the ongoing Brexit, the European Union faces unprecedented challenges. Is the EU sufficiently adapted to manage current disruptions and foster new strategies? Following the elections in France and in the UK, and with the Germans voting in September, June will be a key moment to address those central issues in this new European context.

This opening session will feature Donald Tusk, President of the EU Council, who will address all those burning questions with CEEP members and representatives of public services, and find ways for better cooperating between social partners, EU stakeholders, civil society and EU institutions.

11:15-11:30: Coffee break

11:30-12:30: Towards Future-Proof Public Services?

For the past few years, several disruptors have emerged and impacted the provision of public services: the emergence of digital technologies; the refugee crisis; the structural reforms; the negotiations of trade agreements with our partners around the world.

With a central societal role to play, the daily operations of providers of public services have been directly impacted by those issues.

This panel will gather providers of public services from different sectors, who will present the specific challenges they face and discuss the solutions they find. They will also be in position to test their ideas with representatives of youth organisations, who will present young people’s expectations regarding public services in the future.

Invited speakers:

  • Allan PÄLL, Secretary General, European Youth Forum
  • Kristian RUBY, Secretary General, Eurelectric
  • Thomas BELLUT, Director, ZDF

12:45-14:00: Lunch break

14:00-15:30: Future of Social Europe, Future of Social Dialogue

In the Rome Declaration, Member States pledged to work towards “a Social Europe”, with explicit references to the “key role of social partners”. Social partners have a central role to play in developing the social dimension of the EU.

In parallel, the European Commission has set forward a proposal for an EU Pillar of Social Rights, which will be discussed and debated with all the stakeholders involved, such as Member States, the European Parliament and social partners. In this context, a Social Summit will be organised with the Swedish government in Gothenburg in November 2017, where further discussions will be held on Social Europe, and the role of social dialogue.

In this context, this session will take stock of this on-going process, and assess what future steps could be taken by EU decision-makers and EU social partners.

Invited speakers:

  • Marianne THYSSEN, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, European Commission
  • Ylva JOHANSSON, Swedish Minister for Employment and Integration
  • Maria Joâo RODRIGUES, European Parliament Rapporteur on the EU Pillar of Social Rights
  • Rudy DE LEEUW, President, ETUC

15:30-17:00: Future of Jobs and Growth

The research project “Mapping of Public Services” concluded that public services account for 30% of EU GDP and employ 26% of the EU workforce. On top of those direct jobs, public services contribute to creating additional indirect and induced jobs and to competitiveness of the EU economy. A favourable ground for investments needed to promote public services and ensure jobs and growth creation.

This panel will look at the different ways to go further than the EU Investment Plan, to maximize its potential and make sure that the completion of the EMU will create a policy mix conducive to growth and consequently to job creation in public services.

Invited speakers:

  • Valdis DOMBROVSKIS, Vice-president for Social Dialogue and the Euro, European Commission
  • Markus FERBER, Vice-chair of the ECON committee, European Parliament
  • Wilhem MOLTERER, Managing Director EFSI
  • Joseph STIGLITZ, Economist, professor at Columbia University

17:00-18:00: Future of Europe, Future of Democracy

“No time for business as usual.” Following the vote of the British to exit the EU, the rise of populist movements around Europe, and facing new challenges such as the return to isolationist policies in the USA, the EU leaders stated at multiple occasions that it was “no time for business as usual”. The European Commission engaged in a reflection on how to better regulate, took steps to increase transparency and build bridges to reconnect the EU projects and the citizens. The Bratislava Roadmap, the La Valletta Summit as well as the celebrations of the anniversary of the Rome Treaty are symbolic steps towards a new European Union, but are from being the end of a process. That process will only come to an end in June 2019 when Europeans will decide whether they still believe in a strong Europe when voting for the EP elections.

This panel will discuss the state of the European Union, address the role of public services in giving a new breath to the EU project, and discuss how stakeholders can contribute to the discussions and initiatives.

Invited speakers:

  • Klaus WELLE, Secretary-General, European Parliament
  • Petros FASSOULAS, General Secretary, European Movement International
  • Yves BERTONCINI, Director, Jacques Delors Institute
  • Luca JAHIER, President, EESC Group III

sans-titre

The European social partners gathered in Rome on the invitation of the Italian government, the Maltese Presidency, the Presidencies of the European Council and the European Commission, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, solemnly declare their full commitment to the European Union and dedication to continuing to contribute to a successful project and united Europe that delivers for its workers and enterprises.

Seven decades of peace and stability in Europe is an historic achievement. The European Union, which created a union among the peoples of Europe and, step by step, tied together European States with a common purpose, made this possible.

Europe is faced with many economic, social and political challenges: lack of inclusive, balanced and sustainable growth, insufficient competitiveness and employment creation, inequalities, exceptional migration flows, security issues, and the need to redefine EU-UK relations. These challenges require ambitious European solutions. Together, the European Union and its member states have the means to provide common answers, show solidarity, and make a difference in a moment of geopolitical instability, economic problems, rising populism and extremism. Only united are we strong at the global level.

European social partners strongly believe in the European Union. Populism, nationalism, xenophobia, anti-European sentiments, isolationism or protectionism come from poor economic and social performance and people’s fears about the future. This should be addressed through a serious, fact-based, transparent, and open-debate, and concrete initiatives that can improve workers and companies’ everyday life, thereby preventing a downward spiral that will damage everyone. European and national commitment can and must go hand-in hand.

Our social market economies combine free markets, private initiative, economic freedoms, free movement of people and social rights, a well-functioning welfare state and high-performing public services. Both economic and social cohesion should be improved. A particular effort is needed to lift up our youth, to give them back prospects of a bright future, to demonstrate the benefits of the European project.

Europe has the most highly developed social systems in the world and it will continue to be so provided we ensure that the European social model is made more robust and sustainable with the active support of social partners. Providing equal opportunities and addressing inequalities in the labour market and society, increasing levels of employment participation and social inclusion, is part of the answer to greater economic prosperity and better social outcomes in the EU.

A well-functioning social dialogue at EU, national, sectoral and company level is important to devise efficient policies that will increase European prosperity and ensure social fairness.

To increase prosperity, giving room for more and better employment opportunities for all generations, we need to improve Europe’s attractiveness as a place to invest and create jobs. After a decade of under-investment, increasing efficient and productive private and public investment is essential for Europe’s present and future growth and employment. We need to achieve a proper balance between our stabilisation and sustainability needs including, where public investment is concerned, through a smart reading of our fiscal rules. In parallel with the extension of the so-called Juncker Plan for Investment, EU and national efforts to remove obstacles to investment, entrepreneurship and job creation in Europe must be stepped up.

To reverse the relative decline of European industry and given the importance of manufacturing as a growth and job creation driver in all sectors of the economy, including services, we call on the European Union to urgently put in place an ambitious industrial policy strategy. Our main competitors are not waiting. The time for action is now.

High performing public services must be fostered and we also urgently need a dynamic EU SME action agenda. The EU must support competitiveness and innovation, while managing transition processes towards the digital, low carbon and circular economy. We also need a strong skeleton of modernised and efficient public services able to reconnect citizens and enterprises with the European project while promoting social and territorial cohesion.

Having efficient European institutions is essential to have a well-functioning Economic and Monetary Union and devise balanced and effective European policies benefiting all Member States enterprises and workers. Europe needs transparent, democratically accountable and well-performing institutions. The European social partners count on the European Commission, the Council and the European Parliament to be united and work together to improve the capacity of the European Union to address enterprises’ and workers’ needs and expectations. We stand ready to support you in this endeavour.

PDF Version

In presence of ECB President Mario Draghi, European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and Maltese Minister of Finance Edward Scicluna, Valeria Ronzitti, CEEP General Secretary, addressed the main issues faced by the EU economies at the macro-economic dialogue at political level.

Following the publication of European Commission’s Communication on Fiscal Stance, CEEP believes it is a clear call to responsibility sent to Member States, as wel as a call to start considering the Eurozone as a whole and not just as the sum of its individual components. CEEP also addressed:

The role of Member States fiscal policies

We have always considered public investment in key physical and social infrastructures as the main lever to foster growth for the benefit of citizens and enterprises in Europe. We also believe that some expenses favorable to long-term growth should remain separate from current expenditure: investment with positive effects on future generations, such as education and healthcare, could be financed with debt and deficits, unlike consumption expenditures.

The need for a balance between sustainability and stabilisation

For us, there is no point in opposing sustainability of public finance and the needs of stabilisation.
More efficient investment leads to larger effects on domestic GDP and larger international spillovers. Moreover, surplus countries can now borrow at record low interest rates. Therefore, the accumulation of government debt following fiscal expansion can actually be quite modest and does not endanger long-run debt sustainability.

The governance issues for the Economic and Monetary Union

We need to be realistic over what we can achieve. In the EMU, fiscal policies are a national responsibility. The SGP does not oblige countries with fiscal room for manoeuvre to make use of it. There is no guarantee that the coordination of national fiscal policies through the SGP will result in an appropriate aggregate euro area fiscal stance. With our present instruments, the concept of the Fiscal stance is methodologically and politically ambitious. It is now for Member States to commit and see this communication as an important step toward a more coordinated andexpansionary Euro area fiscal policy. The longer we wait, the more we decrease our long-term growth prospect.

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