Today in Milan, 24 public services providers were awarded the CEEP-CSR Label for their groundbreaking CSR commitments and practices. “This label is a demonstration that those public services’ providers do more than fulfilling their services. They are particularly efficient and effective when it comes to positively impacting the social and environmental aspects of society”, explained CEEP General Secretary, Valeria Ronzitti.
The CEEP-CSR Label Awarding Ceremony took place in the context of the Italian Presidency of the European Council of the European Union which attaches particular importance to Corporate Social Responsibility.
This 2014 edition has especially reflected the ever-growing importance of the label since new European rules on public procurement have emphasized the positive impact of labels in tendering processes.
This year, 74 enterprises started the evaluation with an online self-assessment tool. Experts from Berenschot ranked the enterprises that succeeded the self-assessment, based on criteria derived from international indications such as environment, social impact, staff or relation with external stakeholders.
Since 2008, the CEEP-CSR Label has contributed to raising the corporate image of the awarded enterprises and increasing their chances in tendering processes. Since its creation, more than 100 enterprises have received this recognition after a thorough evaluation process.
The awarded enterprises are:
- Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG)
- Berliner Stadtreinigung (BSR)
- Entsorgung Dortmund GmbH (EDG)
- Die Stadtreiniger – Stadt Würzburg
- Nantes-Gestion Equipement (NGE)
- Perfect Union
- SEQUANO Amènagement
- SIC – Société d’immobilière de la Nouvelle Calédonie
- ACEA SpA
- Ambiente Servizi
- CAP Holding
- Gruppo HERA
- APS – Administração dos Portos de Sines e do Algarve
- Fyrishov AB
- Stockholm Vatten
- Scape Group
Dear Prime Minister Renzi,
Dear President Van Rompuy,
The European Council meeting on 23 and 24 October 2014 will be a decisive milestone for addressing the crucial issues the European Union is facing today with regard to both its internal and external policy dimensions.
Despite the recent decrease of unemployment in Europe, economic stagnation keeps plaguing the growth potential of our European Social Market Economy. With regard to the external dimension of the European Union, the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, the gas commitments between Russia and China, as well as the surges of extremism threatening the populations in the Middle-East and in Europe, are major challenges for the EU.
To finally create a positive and fast paced movement for job creation, more efforts are needed from the Member States, the EU Institutions, the Social Partners and Enterprises to reinvent the path towards sustainable growth. Growth is not only a problem of money. Altogether we need to manage the challenge to regain trust from citizens and enterprises in a positive European future. Only a positive environment for enterprises will stimulate investments. Moreover, Europe needs to once again be the forerider in terms of R&D, at least in some key sectors in order not to be left behind by our external competitors. This is especially true when it comes to the digital economy. These aspects are crucial when discussing future growth in Europe.
Public and Private investments need to complement each others
In financial matters, public services’ providers and employers have faced fiscal consolidation processes which have been short-sighted in too many cases. Overall cuts in public expenditure from 2010 to 2014 have reached 5 % of GDP in the Euro area. Amongst these, all types of public investment were cut, including in education, healthcare, public administration, transport, environment protection, and so on. Preserving public investment could have made a sizeable difference in terms of output, employment and growth potential, without major negative impact on budget deficits and debt ratios. The April 2014 IMF study ”World Economic Outlook” found that an increase in public investment equal to 1% of GDP boosted GDP by an underwhelming 0,4 % in the same year, and by more than 1,5% four years later. Public investment effects are even stronger when the conditions are optimal in periods of economic slack and monetary policy accomodation. The present momentum is perfect.
More structurally, CEEP asks for a change of paradigm. Public and Private investments need to be more complements than substitutes. An increase in public investment could boost, and not crowd out, private investment. This is the case for public investment in infrastructure or networks as it improves the efficiency and allocation of private investment for specific firms, sectors, or projects.
Mr Jean-Claude Juncker’s 300 billion euro investment plan of the European Commission is definitely a step in the right direction. However, many uncertainties remain on how to free such levels of funding from both public and private sources.
Call for an ambitious climate and energy policy framework
The energy sector is crucial for this change. As the European Commission has shown in its recent communication on the completion of the internal energy market, investments in energy networks are key for Europe’s overall goal of a secure, competitive and sustainable energy system. Besides an increase in investments in energy networks, a stable and reliable political framework is needed.
Therefore, CEEP calls the European Council to set a binding target of a 40 per cent reduction of green house gas emissions by 2030, completed by significant systemic changes of the EU ETS in order to make this instrument work efficiently. Moreover, CEEP embraces the proposal for a binding EU-wide expansion target for renewable energies. At the same time, it has to be ensured that all Member States firmly commit to contributing in a substantial manner to the goal achievement. Regarding energy efficiency, a holistic approach is needed that takes into account a broad range of sectors, such as the transport sector with its high potential of rail and urban transport, to achieve their ambitious energy efficiency goals.
CEEP also wishes to raise the need for an economic mid- to long-term view that includes interconnectors and energy generation capacities. In an energy market partly dominated by renewables, not only the generation of electricity but also the provision of secure generation, which is supplied mainly by conventional power plants, has to be taken into consideration.
EU-wide broadband coverage is another field which illustrates how investments in infrastructure will pay back by setting the basis for Europe’s sustainable competitiveness. Broadband coverage has indeed to be supported much more than in the past years in order to allow Europe to develop its full potential for growth and jobs.
To conclude, we ask you to seize the present momentum and allow for a mix of the accommodating monetary policy of the European Central Bank with an ambitious fiscal policy, directed towards the segments of the public budget which can foster a new sustainable growth.
We believe those options are the right ones in order for deep structural reforms to deliver their full potential in terms of growth and sustainable competitiveness. Only that way we can prove at global level that our 28 Member States are able to play in a strong and united European team.
CEEP General Secretary
At the occasion of the Tripartite Social Summit, Hans-Joachim Reck, CEEP President, presented his recommendations to bring growth back in Europe, by “reinventing the path towards sustainable growth”.
Public services are the backbone of the European economic model. Therefore, investments should be directed towards enterprises, education and infrastructures, which are the foundations for future prosperity, technical progress and jobs. “Along with those investments, Member States have to create a business environment that encourages enterprises to invest”, M. Reck appeals.
Public and private investments need to complement each others
First and foremost, CEEP asks for a change of paradigm. Public and private investments need to complement each other: public investments in infrastructures or networks improve the efficiency and allocation of private investment for specific firms, sectors, or projects. This snowball effect has been studied: according to the International Monetary Fund, an increase in public investment of 1% GDP boosted the economy by 0,4% in the same year, and by more than 1,5% four years later.
A special focus on energy
Investments in energy networks are particularly key for Europe’s overall goal of a secure, competitive and sustainable energy system. “The consequences of the Ukrainian crisis showed that there is a real need for the internal energy market. Therefore, we support the recent call of the European Commission for more engagement in energy infrastructure”, he concluded, illustrating the need for investments in such key enabling sector.
You can consult the full speech here.
CEEP was present at the High-level Employment Summit in Milan on 8 October. Addressing the need of investment in Europe, CEEP General Secretary Valeria Ronzitti emphasised the importance of “Sustainable Competitiveness, as the only way to face global challenges in the long-term”.
You can find the full speech here.
CEEP welcomes the announcement by Jean-Claude Juncker of the portfolios of the new European Commission. CEEP considers the new approach, with reinforced Vice-presidents focussing on thematic priorities and valuing the flexibility in the structure, as good news.
“That approach should effectively streamline decision-making in the new Commission, overcoming the strong silo mentality that has developed over time, which was generating uncertainty over the overall directions and sometimes creating contradictions”, expressed Valeria Ronzitti, CEEP General Secretary. She added that “hopefully, the Vice-presidents will be in a position to genuinely coordinate the actions taken by the European Commission, bringing more coherence and, in the end, more efficiency and effectiveness in the policy-making process.” She also explained that a complete reorganisation will be necessary. In her views, the organisation in ‘project teams’ will otherwise only remain an “announcement effect” without impact on way the European Commission works.
CEEP also welcomes the creation of positions of ‘Vice-President for Jobs, Growth Investment and Competiveness’ and of ‘Vice-President for an Energy Union’. “In both cases the constitution of those portfolios and their upgrade at a Vice-President level is good news for CEEP”, explained Ms Ronzitti.
In the case of the Growth and Investments portfolio, we see this as key for “reinvesting in Europe”, which is the underlying principle we saw in the ‘Strategic agenda for the Union in times of change’ prepared by Mr Van Rompuy, as well as Mr Juncker’s political guidelines. “We are committed to support by all possible means that portfolio, in order to bring growth and jobs back to Europe”.
As representatives of Services of General Interests’ providers, many of CEEP members are active in the field of energy. “We welcome the recognition of the essential need for Europe to formulate a comprehensive Energy and Climate Framework. European energy undertakings are in great need of such a framework, and the Vice-President for Energy Union can count on the full support of CEEP to reach that goal”, concluded Valeria Ronzitti.
Press release: PDF version.
CEEP sent its congratulations to Mr Juncker for his election at the head of the European Commission. You can consult the letter via the following link.
CEEP is represented by Mr Brandolini, CEEP Executive Vice-president, and Ms Ronzitti, CEEP Secretary General, at the first-ever joint meeting of EU environment and labour ministers today and tomorrow in Milano. They will address the following issues:
- Green growth and employment
- Monitoring the green jobs in the integrated European policy (European Semester/Annual Growth Survey)
- Poverty targets in the EU 2020 strategy mid-term review
- Labour mobility in the European Union: challenges and perspectives
- EMU-wide automatic stabilizers: towards a common Unemployment Benefit Scheme?
- The importance of the social economy
Our speaking points are available on the following document: here.
CEEP’s address at the Macrodeconomic Dialogue at Political Level: PDF
“An integrated approach to sustainable growth: this is what we want to read as the main message coming out from the long awaited EC’s circular economy package”, expressed Valeria Ronzitti, CEEP General Secretary. Continue reading