CEEP Responses

CEEP Opinion on the Next Generation EU recovery instrument – PDF

Executive Summary:

  • Next Generation EU aims to mobilise €500bln in grants and €250bln in loans to Member States without involving the mutualisation of pre-existing debts. CEEP very much supports this proposal including its innovative character and its close interlink with the MFF 2021-2027.
  • The crisis has drastically exposed the result of years of underinvestment in social and physical infrastructures in some Member States. CEEP consequently calls for a precise and consistent emphasis on public services and services of general interest, as the current proposals fail to sufficiently emphasize the role of SGIs, which are the pillar underpinning the economic and social infrastructure of the EU.
  • The lack of an appropriate framework supporting those essential services will seriously jeopardise our economy’s overall capacity to recover as well as to overcome our long-term challenges: Next Generation EU gives EU and national institutions the chance to demonstrate that investment in physical and social infrastructures cannot be considered as a cost, but rather as the indispensable precondition to ensure long term competitiveness, employment and growth.
  • EU social partners represent a unique bridge capable of connecting stakeholders and allowing the consolidation of efficient and coordinated actions that bring together the EU, national, sectorial and company levels. Joint actions to foster social partners at national level must be a priority for a socially inclusive recovery: their active participation, also at regional and local levels, will be especially crucial when it comes to the design of national recovery plans.
  • EU leaders must remain aware of the evolving nature of the recovery instrument and be ready for eventual adaptations to the original proposal, embodied in the Next Generation EU. This can be achieved by Member States continuously showing flexibility and commitment to the core principles of unity and solidarity.
  • Special attention must be given to enhancing top-down and bottom-up articulations between levels of governance and across key stakeholders. The scale and scope of the recovery should not jeopardise the active participation of local and regional authorities, which are crucial for an efficient policy design and implementation.
  • It is crucial to mobilise the necessary funds to foster strategic investment and industrial ecosystems to better respond to future shocks. Other challenges, such as revising the current European framework of taxation and generating additional EU own resources, will follow with Member States still very far from an agreement. Against this challenging background, the idea of relying on uncertain income sources as proposed by the European Commission does not seems to be a pragmatic solution in the short term.

CEEP Opinion on the EU Green Deal – Working Together on a Fair and Sustainable Path – PDF

Executive Summary

  • CEEP welcomed the announcement of a European Green Deal and fully supports its goal of making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. CEEP members are committed to developing a balanced and sustainable strategy relying on the economic, social and environmental development. Indeed, it will be essential to take these three dimensions into account for the Green Deal to reach its objectives for 2050.
  • CEEP welcomes the efforts of the European Commission to propose the first-ever EU Climate Law, to ensure all EU policies contribute to the European Green Deal objectives for a net-zero emission target.However, we do not share the Commission’s statement that an impact assessment is not required because a full analysis on the implications of the 2050 climate-neutrality objective has already been provided in support of the “Clean Planet for All” communication. We therefore call upon the European Commission to deliver a proper Impact Assessment.
  • CEEP positively receives the Commission’s recognition to promote more and direct investments for sustainable technology, research and innovations and welcomes the new Sustainable Europe Investment Plan (SEIP) including its social transition finance plans published in the Just Transition Mechanism and Just Transition Fund. Here, public services and SGIs can pave the way towards cultural cohesion, and economic and environmental sustainability thanks to their proximity in society.
  • CEEP welcomes the Commission’s new European Climate Pact and underlines the importance of social inclusion, since there cannot be a transition without acceptance of society. At the same time, the Green Deal must be inclusive and avoid social divides, therefore CEEP supports the continued effort on re-skilling and up-skilling our society to make this climate transition a success.
  • CEEP congratulates the European Commission for recognising digitalisation as an important driver in this climate transition and considers the digital sector as part of the solution to achieve the sustainability goals in the Green Deal. In parallel we emphasise the need to also include not only new technological advantages but also behavioural or regulatory innovations in order to improve energy efficiency, water usage, transport and waste management.
  • CEEP welcomes the extension of the Emission Trading System (ETS) also to the transport and building sectors. However, CEEP calls for an alignment of the ETS Directive as well as a development of an adequate carbon pricing.
  • CEEP recognises that despite the efforts made, the first environmental damages are being witnessed and there is a need for an adaptation strategy that goes beyond the reduction of CO2 emissions. We have therefore welcomed with great enthusiasm the intensions to introduce a new Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and a Zero-Pollution Action Plan.

During the meeting of the General Assembly on 27 June 2019, CEEP members have adopted an opinion “A Sustainable Climate Strategy for Europe: Acting Now! – Statement on Climate “For Sibiu and Beyond”“.

Our key messages are the following:

  • Global warming is a major risk and climate policies must be developed as part of a sustainable approach.
  • A prerequisite for success is the social acceptability of these policies, which requires greater equity and democracy, particularly at the local level.
  • CEEP members manage essential infrastructure and provide SGIs that contribute to well-being and competitiveness; their proximity to economic actors makes them key players in climate policies.
  • The EU Strategic Agenda 2019-2024 needs to recognise that role and put “enablers” of sustainable climate policies at its centre.
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