The package published today by the European Commission does not come as a surprise, as it is the result of months of intense consultations and the follow-up to the deep reflection on the social dimension of Europe in the context of the White Paper on the Future of the EU.
Valeria Ronzitti, CEEP General Secretary, said:
“Public services’ employers see the reflection paper on the social dimension as a crucial element of the broader reflection on the future of Europe. We are however concerned that the link with the upcoming paper on the Economic and Monetary Union is not strong enough: you cannot have social progress without economic progress and vice versa. We will make this link very clear in our future contribution, and we very much hope that it will be reflected in the result of this necessary process of reflection on the Future of Europe.”
“When it comes to the Pillar of Social Rights, the picture is much more complex. We have new challenges ahead of us, with the first-stage consultation on written statement and access to social protection. CEEP members will look deeply into them with an open mind and all best intentions to try to find a way for negotiations, as we believe this is still THE way labour markets at EU level should be driven.”
“Understanding the logic behind the interpretative communication on working time is much harder for us, both from a content and a methodological point of view. Content-wise, the interpretative communication risks complexifying – and not simplifying – the operations of public services’ providers who are the most affected by the various court cases that the interpretative communication addresses. From a methodological point of view, we feel that the Commission went ahead disregarding the views of the social partners, especially CEEP who always committed to finding a negotiated solution.”
“That is why we were finally willing to enter into negotiations for the revision of the parental leave agreement within the Work Life Balance package, as highlighted in the Commission’s statement accompanying the Commission Proposal for a Directive on work life balance and carers. For us, the decision of the Social Partners not to negotiate puts the future of social dialogue in danger. CEEP is clearly committed to social dialogue: employers and workers know what is possible and deliverable and are the best placed to shape industrial relations. We will realise this commitment when negotiating the next work programme of the social partners.”