CEEP Opinion on the EU Green Deal – Working Together on a Fair and Sustainable Path – PDF
- 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.
CEEP Answer to the Public Consultation on “Equal Pay for Equal Work or Work of Equal Value – PDF
The European Union has given long-lasting peace across our continent and has brought European people together around the fundamental values of democracy, human rights, freedom and equality.
Democracy needs to be lived in order to remain alive. We therefore urge citizens across Europe to go out and vote in the European elections from 23-26 May 2019 in order to have a say on the future and to defend democracy, sustainable economic growth and social justice.
The EU has been instrumental in making the European way of life what it is today. It has brought unprecedented economic and social progress and continues to bring tangible benefits for citizens, workers and enterprises across Europe.
These are uncertain times for Europe and for the world. Whilst we are on a path towards recovery, the economic and social consequences of the crisis can still be felt by citizens, workers and enterprises. Some people question or even reject the European project. We are facing huge challenges – international tensions, re-defining the EU-UK relationship, migration, unemployment, prospects for our youth, the climate and digital transformation and in several countries, increasing economic and social inequalities. But the answer is not to pull up the drawbridge and retreat – we must stand up and take action in a united way.
The EU project has to remain resilient and strong and we, the European Social Partners, believe that it can continue to help us to face our challenges and design a brighter future for Europe, its citizens, workers and enterprises. Europe is still one of the best places in the world to live, work and do business. We have much to be proud of and to cherish and we should build on this, together.
In this spirit, we will continue to contribute to a successful European project and a united Europe that delivers for its workers and enterprises, focusing on initiatives that improve their everyday lives and offer a better future full of opportunities for all.
Today, [on 6 February 2018], CEEP, ETUC, BusinessEurope and SMEunited have signed their 6th autonomous Social Partners Work Programme. The official signing ceremony was attended by Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission Vice-President for Social Dialogue and the Euro, Marius-Constantin Budăi, Romanian Minister of Labour and Social Justice, and Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs.
During the signing ceremony, CEEP General Secretary Valeria Ronzitti said:
“With this 6th Autonomous joint work programme, the European Social Partners renew their commitment to address the challenges our members face on a daily basis.
Representing public services and SGI employers, CEEP looks forward to negotiating an autonomous agreement on digitalisation. Together with our trade unions counterparts, we will design solutions to accompany the transformation brought up by automation, artificial intelligence and the rise of the data economy on the labour market. Developing skills and innovation, empowering national social partners via capacity-building and promoting circular economy are other key issues bearing new opportunities for Social Partners to work together.
We are confident that, through this Work-programme, we, the European Social Partners, will prepare and promote constructive and pragmatic solutions for a fair, competitive and sustainable Europe.”
You can consult the Work Programme here.
CEEP Opinion – Brexit, Trade and SGIs “Reflection on brexit and trade: possible options” – PDF
- CEEP intends to contribute to the Brexit debate by identifying reflection tracks towards ensuring level-playing field in a post-Brexit EU-UK relationship, in which providers of public services and of SGIs can operate for the benefits of citizens and companies.
- Brexit will have fundamental political, economic and legal consequences for both sides. These consequences will be shaped by the features of the agreement that is currently being negotiated. The two parties will have to reach an agreement in the following three main areas: First, the United Kingdom and the EU will need to agree on the regime for the trade of goods and services. Second, new rules are needed for migration. Third, the United Kingdom needs to be disentangled legally from the European Union (European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018).
- In this statement, CEEP argues that solutions like the free trade agreement with Canada (CETA) do not justice to the close European ties between the UK and the EU. A comprehensive, but flexible free trade agreement with much EU acquis and deep and comprehensive content, such as the DCFTA currently in force between the EU and Ukraine, seems most likely able to meet interconnection requirements between both countries and to foster cooperation and common policy-making in the future. Therefore, it is highly desirable for the economic prosperity of the EU and the UK.
- The future trade negotiations for free trade agreements like the DCFTA should respect environmental, social and security standards. Especially, the possibility to amend the agreement in view of political or economic developments is crucial given the geographic, historical, political and economic relations between the European Union member states and the United Kingdom. A DCFTA oriented agreement can assure a high degree of access to the EU single market, at least for trade in goods, but not necessarily for movement of people and services.
CEEP Position Paper on a Future European Labour Authority – PDF
- The creation of the European Labour Authority should strengthen cooperation between labour market authorities at all levels and lead to the better management of cross-border situations, as well as to further initiatives in support of fair mobility, and proper coordination of European Social Security schemes.
- CEEP wishes for three principles to be respected by the future ELA:
- The Principle of subsidiarity and member states’ own authorities must be respected.
- ELA must leave space for the different labour market models and priorities Member States may have. It is crucial that a European labour authority does not touch on the autonomy of the social partners and the key role that they play.
- The ELA should not have any supra-national competences. It should concern itself with improving the enforcement of existing rules, facilitating intra-EU mobility and promote mutual learning between National authorities.
CEEP Opinion on the Proposal on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions in the European Union Repealing Directive 91/553/EEC – PDF
- CEEP opposes changing the purpose of the Written Statement Directive from an information instrument to a rights-based framework Directive. The proposed minimum requirements relating to working conditions are new rights seen in a European perspective, as they have always been core elements of national laws and collective agreements and contracts.
- The Proposal conflicts with the principle of subsidiarity, i.e. the principle that EU decisions should be taken as close to citizens as possible. There are great differences between EU Member States regarding both what constitutes balanced working conditions and how the labour market is regulated. The EU Proposal would constitute excessive interference with the labour market model of several Member States, especially those regulating working conditions by collective agreements.
- In Europe, we have a vast variety of social- and labour market models and different traditions. Many of CEEP’s members have a strong and long-standing tradition for wage and working conditions to be regulated by social partners through collective agreements. It ensures flexibility and adaptability in relation to labour market developments, the differences in the different sectors and a balance of both parties’ interests.
- CEEP emphasizes the necessity to respect the social partners’ autonomy and their right to negotiate and conclude collective agreements at the appropriate level as stated in Principle 8 of the European Social Pillars Rights.
- CEEP finds it unfortunate that the European Commission introduces within its proposal the definitions for employees and employers in order to define the employment relationship within the scope of article 2. This approach takes a different path from the long tradition of the application of EU Social Law, which is by definition in the hands of the Member States.
- CEEP agrees with the principle that workers should have the right to be informed about their rights and obligations resulting from the employment relationship in a timely and comprehensible manner. At the same time, the obligations imposed on the employer should be realistic and feasible. CEEP suggests several adaptations to allow of a sound application of the Directive without creating a disproportionate administrative burden for both the employer and the worker.
- CEEP acknowledges the need for protection of workers that are not covered by a collective agreement and the need for minimum rights for those. Nonetheless it is very important that this Directive ensures the right for national social partners to enter into collective agreements that are not governed by the minimum provisions. An agreement made by national social partners must be regarded as a guarantee of secure and fair working conditions and the European Court of Justice should honor the content of such collective agreements. Conditions in collective agreements cannot be seen in isolation, but must be seen as a whole, giving regard to all conditions in collective agreements that apply to a worker.
CEEP Opinion on the EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027 – PDF
- CEEP is convinced of the added value of the EU budget and believes that there are clear margins of manoeuver to make it more efficient and relevant. The financial discussions for the upcoming Multi-Annual Financial Framework should be linked with the debates on the Future of the EU. It is important to agree on the Europe we want for the future and attach corresponding resources to the established priorities.
- Transversal principles
- EU Added Value: The EU added value should become one of the key criteria for the successful use of EU funds and thus also for the success of cohesion policy. A stable union means a stable economic and monetary union.
- Flexibility: Funding committed should remain available in the budget and re-allocated to other programmes. This rule should be flexible enough to adapt to new political circumstances during the implementation of the MFF.
- Simplification and Administrative Barriers: CEEP urges the EC to reduce the administrative burden of EU funds management. The EU budget is pressured by the need to be more efficient, to focus on areas where its impact is greatest and to ensure that burdensome rules and procedures do not hinder the achievement of its goals.
- Going beyond GDP. The distribution principles of the EU structural funding should not be exclusively based on the GDP criterion but cover alternative indicators – such as poverty rate, youth and long-term unemployment or the activity rate of vulnerable groups – addressing other EU’s most pressing concerns, in line with the principles proclaimed in the EU Pillar of Social Rights.
- Our Priorities for the Future MFF
- Strategic Infrastructure: Public investment in key physical and social infrastructures are the main levers to foster growth. The MFF provides a key opportunity for reinforcing their financing. Tools such as the EFSI are also considered by CEEP members as critical.
- Circular economy: it should be a key feature in future funds because of its transversal aspects and multiple effects for citizens. Fostering innovation through circular economic solutions could enable the EU to build a new way to make business, to promote industrial research and to create new jobs protecting the environment.
- European Economic and Social Governance: CEEP favours greater technical assistance to all Member States in improving their institutional and administrative capacities for implementing structural reforms.
- Economic, Social, Territorial Cohesion and the ESF+: CEEP members advocate for a pre-allocation of 25% of the cohesion funds to the future ESF+ and at least keeping the ESF+ budget at the level of the previous programming period (2014 – 2020), including the ESF, Youth Employment initiative and the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived. The ESF should remain an EU Structural Fund, and not be expanded to cover priorities beyond its core goals (employment, education, social inclusion and the fight against poverty). CEEP members advocate for maintaining a pre-allocation of 30% of the ESF objectives of addressing poverty and social exclusion.
- Investing in Social Dialogue: It is urgent to develop a mechanism for monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the Code of Conduct on Partnership by the Member States and make respect of its principles an ex-ante conditionality in the preparation and implementation of operational programmes.