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Representing employers and providers of public services and services of general interest (SGIs), CEEP is supporting the ongoing campaign aimed at re-establishing the European Parliament Intergroup on Public Services and SGIs. The intergroup has been active over the last ten years in stimulating discussions amongst MEPs and between MEPs and many external stakeholders, on questions of public services and services of general interest. The intergroup answers the need to discuss public services and SGIs with a transversal and open approach, and it has been the only body specifically addressing this angle at EU level. This goal should remain central in the new term, with an increasingly broader support from all political groups.

MEPs of four different political groups (PPE, S&D, Renew Europe and Greens) are already actively supporting the Intergroup. MEP Elisabetta Gualmini (IT, S&D) will chair the Intergroup, with MEPs Adam Jarubas (PL, EPP), Radan Kanev (BG, EPP) Heléne Fritzon (SE, S&D), Christophe Grudler (FR, Renew), Anna Cavazzini (DE, Greens) and Monika Vana (AT, Greens) as vice-chairs, ensuring a broad representation of the political families of the European Parliament.

Based on decisions taken by every political groups of the European Parliament, the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament will ultimately decide which intergroup becomes a reality. As several projected intergroups have not gathered such a broad support, the political potential of this intergroup is clear: it can be an open and transversal platform to discuss the contribution of public services and SGIs to the transitions our society is facing.

As each parliamentary group will be voting in the upcoming weeks for the intergroups they will endorse, CEEP calls on EU, national and regional stakeholders to help raise awareness about the need for such an intergroup in the European Parliament, to make sure this transversal platform addressing public services and SGIs at EU level is maintained for the next 5 years.

CEEP is currently recruiting a Policy Officer – SGIs and Internal Market. You can find more information on the offer here. Deadline for application: 15 November.

Area: We are currently looking for a Policy Officer – Services of General Interest, Internal Market and Competition

Experience: at least two years

Line of reporting: General Secretary

Main tasks

To follow the developments of EU internal market and related policies
Identifying, following and monitoring issues relevant for CEEP in the field of Services of General Interest, Internal Market and Competition;
Drafting discussion papers and briefing notes, support in drafting CEEP opinions, press releases, articles (etc) related to the above-mentioned policy fields;
Drafting speeches of CEEP President and CEEP General Secretary related to the abovementioned policy fields;
Representing CEEP in internal and external meetings (with the EU institutions and with lobby organisations) where the agreed CEEP positions in the respective policy field need to be
presented;
Coordinating the work of the respective CEEP Boards and Task Forces and organizing the respective meeting;
Coordinating the work linked to CEEP role in the REFIT Platform and in the EP Intergroup on Public Services and Services of General Interest.

Challenges linked to the function

Important workload
Need of high sense of organisation, planning, pro-activity and accuracy
Added value of the function for the organisation
Ensuring CEEP’s role in lobbying and policy making within EU internal market and related
policies

Qualifications and skills

University degree in a relevant field, possibly with European specialisation;
English C2 level, additional languages, French and/or German in particular, can be an asset;

Technical Skills and competences

Excellent level of oral and written communication
Good knowledge of EU institutions and decision-making processes
Good knowledge of internal market rules, including state aid and public procurement;
Knowledge of and interest in public services, particularly at European level
High degree of organisation and time management
Strategic approach

Socials skills and competences

Self-initiative and self confidence
Punctuality and accuracy
Open mentality and adaptation to change
Team spirit
Reliability and confidentiality
Ability to perform reliably under stress
Flexibility, openness and ability to work within an international team
Intellectual curiosity and willingness to learn

Dear readers,

As the end of 2017 is approaching, it is time to look back at what happened during the past 12 months and look ahead to 2018. Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaty, 2017 will remain a key year for the European construction. The European Commission has started an important reflection on the Future of Europe, whilst pushing for a stronger social dimension and an increased integration of the economic and monetary union.

Whilst 2017 was a year of consolidation of CEEP positioning in the EU social dialogue and as representative of cross-industry public services, thanks to, among others, our package of opinions on the Future of Europe, 2018 will be a year for further progress. With a renewed mandate for the Presidential Team – CEEP President Katherina Reiche, CEEP Vice-Presidents Milena Angelova, Tom Beattie and Filippo Brandolini, CEEP Boards and Task Forces, with their newly appointed Chairs and Vice-Chairs, will be the driving force, paving the way up to the European elections in 2019. The first discussions on the future EU Multiannual Financial Framework post 2020 will keep us busy, especially with our call for investment in physical and social infrastructures, building on the report of the High-Level Task Force on Social Investment.

Following up on the Social Summit and building up on the commitment to give a new Start to Social Dialogue, CEEP will also continue to play a pivotal role at this level. Together with EU trade unions and the other employers’ organisations, one of our main priorities will be to reinforce the partnership on integration of refugees.

Following the Commission proposal for a revised Written Statement Directive, where CEEP was the only social partner with a clear and open mandate pro-negotiations, more should be expected from social partners. The explicit references to social dialogue in the Council conclusions must be a clear signal, and we, as a cross-industry social partner, are ready and committed to play our role in improving the EU socio-economic situation. It is now important for us to play our role, as economic and social progress should always go hand in hand.

Another central issue will be to take steps towards the completion of the Economic and Monetary Union. Building a compromise on further strengthening the resilience of our economies is more than needed, and public services’ providers are well placed to know that resilience and stability are essential to avoid short-sighted solutions in time of crisis. We intend to support the agenda proposed by the Council, and the goal to quickly take steps leading to increased stability.

2018 will, in any case, be a pivotal year for Europe: both Presidents Juncker and Tusk will enter the final stretch of their respective mandates. All eyes will turn to the European elections scheduled for spring 2019, and we intend to ensure that the voice of employers and providers of public services and SGI will be heard in the debates.

Enjoy your reading, and best wishes for the festive season!

Kind regards,

Valeria Ronzitti

On 16 December CEEP joined the Urban Agenda Partnership on public procurement as Stakeholder and so supports the partnership with its long-standing experience at EU-, national and local level on SGI and public procurement issues and its cross sectoral dimension.

The Urban Agenda for the EU is a new working method to ensure maximum utilisation of the growth potential of cities and to successfully tackle social challenges. It aims to promote cooperation between Member States, Cities, the European Commission and other stakeholders like CEEP, to stimulate growth, liveability and innovation in the cities of Europe.

In this process the Urban Agenda partnerships focuses specifically on three pillars of EU policy making and implementation: Better regulation, better funding, better knowledge.

In the second half of 2017 four new Urban Agenda Partnerships were launched: Public Procurement, Sustainable Use of Land and Nature-based Solutions, Energy Transition, and Climate Adaptation. They conclude a process initiated with the Pact of Amsterdam in May 2016 with the four Pilot Partnerships (Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees, Air Quality, Urban Poverty, and Housing). Four more Partnerships (Jobs and Skills in the Local Economy, Circular Economy, Digital Transition and Urban Mobility), were established during the Slovak Presidency of the EU in early 2017.

The Urban Agenda Partnership on Public Procurement, where CEEP will be represented by the General Rapporteur of the SGI Taskforce, Nadine Fischer, will work on the European Commission’s Communication on “Making Public Procurement work in and for Europe”. The partnership will develop pilots on how the procurement strategies of cities can be aligned with local, regional, national and European policy interests.  When cities tender contracts, the general idea of a good procurement practice is to spend public means efficiently and effectively in such a way that maximum added value is created for society and societal goals. The focus of this partnership therefore will be on how to go beyond merely legal compliance of the new directives and push forward towards a procurement strategy that is well aligned with the city’s, the Member States and Europe’s policy objectives.

CEEP and its members share these objectives of implementing smart, future-proof public procurement systems that are further modernised, digitalised and professionalised, and are ready to continue to work with the Commission, Member States and other stakeholders in this direction as well as to support the Partnership with its knowledge and variety of perspectives.

CEEP is willing to build up a partnership to present a new project under the European Commission’s Directorate General Home Call for proposals “Promote swift integration of TCNs into the labour market through strengthened cooperation and mobilisation of employers and social and economic partners” (AMIF-2017-AG-INTE-04 – topic 4). The deadline to submit project proposal is 1 March, 2018. Therefore, we would like to call for project partners to express their interest no later than January 19, 2018, by contacting CEEP Project Officer Carlotta Astori (Carlotta.astori@ceep.eu).

The objective of the new project, named “LABOUR INT 2”, is to follow up the current project led by ETUC, CEEP and EUROCHAMBRES that aims to promote employment as a key part of the integration process of third-country nationals. The new project proposal will aim at further exploring the existing practices enhancing the participation of TCNs in the society. Besides, it will aim at promoting multi-layered and multi-stakeholder integration paths for recently arrived migrants and refugees across the EU, from arrival up to the workplace, passing through education, training and job placement.

In line with the previous action carried out in 2016-2017, this project will build on the capacities and interest of employers, chambers of industry and commerce, trade unions and migrant associations.

The action will focus on both the follow up of the national pilot actions that were initiated in the first edition of LABOUR INT, and will aim at developing further pilot actions in 3-4 additional countries, that present a favourable environment for multi-layered integration programmes.

LABOUR-INT 2 aims to establish an innovative approach, based on the cooperation, dialogue and commitment of the economic and social partners as key labour market actors, and to build or foster a fruitful collaboration with other relevant stakeholders both in the public, private and not-for-profit sector.

Should you be interested in joining the partnership, we look forward to receiving your ideas on how your actions could feed our project and become pilots tested through the multi-stakeholder approach. 

One year after the Commission’s proposals for a new electricity market design, the month of December brought some progress in both the European Parliament’s ITRE Committee and the Council of the EU where the energy ministers achieved a first formal agreement this Monday. As the negotiations within and between the institutions are about to reach their decisive phase, CEEP is actively promoting the key messages of public services’ providers in the EU.

CEEP welcomes progress that could already be achieved in the institutions’ work on the Commission’s proposals for a new electricity market design. Amongst others, the debates on how to ensure that all Distribution System Operators (DSOs) will be represented in the future DSO Body move into the right direction. It is now crucial to further specify them and to guarantee that EU legislation for DSOs is limited to issues of EU-wide impact and of reasonable importance for the EU internal market development.

Moreover, CEEP supports the overall direction of the discussions on Regional Operational Centres (ROCs) that should be replaced by voluntary cooperation, ensuring that system security and stability remains guaranteed. Public services’ providers in the EU equally endorse the evolving debate away from the initial Commission’s proposal for distribution tariffs elaborated at European level. CEEP also considers that the definition of dynamic prices as proposed by the Commission’s draft directive, which means purely spot based, would neglect the fact that suppliers may develop price lists with different flexibility offers to customers. CEEP also welcomes that a flexible use of congestion income may be maintained, including the possibility of using it to reduce the level of network tariffs.

At the same time, CEEP sees several remaining open questions. Amongst others, these concern the future roles of the different market participants. In this context, CEEP supports the explicit recognition of new market players, such as aggregators, active consumers and local energy communities. However, when shaping the exact roles of different market actors, it is crucial to ensure a level-playing field and non-discriminatory treatment that does not privilege certain actors.

Rules regarding local energy communities and aggregators particularly require further clarification. If third party aggregators are to be independent in the sense that they are not perceived as a balance responsible party, the supplier should not be required to bear the consequences of imbalances that result from a reduction in consumer demand. As a principle, aggregators being new market actors must follow the obligations of the current market design and shall also be responsible for their actions (actions of their contracted parties). They must respect balancing rules as well as conditions, especially technical rules for safe grid operation and network restrictions, set by the respective DSO within a prequalification procedure.

CEEP equally pleads for the ongoing review of the energy market design to recognise that system adequacy is vital to the functioning of the European electricity system and that capacity mechanisms are a tool to guarantee that enough capacity will always be available, especially at peak periods to supply demand.

Furthermore, CEEP would like to underline that network codes, especially the future ones for DSOs, must not pre-empt national roles by being too detailed. On the contrary, it is very likely that detailed approaches decided at EU level will not be suitable at all for the wide variety of situations at local level. Therefore, CEEP pleads for a revision of the initial proposals that should allow a direct involvement of Member States as well as a more transparent consultation process of stakeholder.

CEEP held on 28 June 2017 its third Public Services Summit. You can find below a first report from each of the panel:

On 28 June 2017, CEEP will hold its third Public Services Summit. The event will be held in Brussels (The SQUARE – Coudenberg Entrance, 1-3 Coudenberg), and you can register here.

pss-promo

DRAFT AGENDA

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

9:45-11:15: Future of Europe: the big picture, discussion with Donald TUSK, President of the European Council

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.

  • Anna WIDEGREN, Secretary General, European Youth Forum
  • Sorcha EDWARDS, General Secretary, Housing Europe
  • Jurgen KLEINKNECHT, New Media Editorial Department, ZDF

12:30-14:00: Lunch break

14:00-15:15: 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.

  • Marianne THYSSEN, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, European Commission
  • Maria João RODRIGUES, European Parliament Rapporteur on the EU Pillar of Social Rights
  • Irene WENNEMO, State Secretary to Minister for Employment and Integration, Swedish Government
  • Rudy DE LEEUW, President, ETUC

15:15-15:30: Coffee break

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.

  • Valdis DOMBROVSKIS, Vice-president for Social Dialogue and the Euro, European Commission
  • Roberto GUALTIERI, Chair of the ECON committee, European Parliament (TBC)
  • Wilhem MOLTERER, Managing Director EFSI
  • Mariana MAZZUCATO, Economist, University of Sussex (TBC)

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.

Speakers:

  • Klaus WELLE, Secretary-General, European Parliament
  • Petros FASSOULAS, General Secretary, European Movement International
  • Luca JAHIER, President, EESC Group III

Message to the European Council meeting on 17-18 December 2015 – Letter from CEEP President Hans-Joachim Reck and CEEP General Secretary Valeria Ronzitti to President Donald Tusk (PDF).

Dear President Tusk,

Dear Prime Minister Bettel,

Ahead of the European Council meeting of 17-18 December 2015, CEEP calls upon Member States to work together, showing determination, courage and leadership. 2015 has been a difficult year for the EU, with major challenges such as the flow of refugees, the attacks in Paris, the negotiation of a Greek bailout and the early speculation over the UK referendum.

This December Council meeting will be key in setting the right priorities and finding the path to tackle of the challenges faced in the past few months. That is the reason why we want to highlight the main priorities for our members, employers and providers of public services from all over Europe, and where we could concretely support your policies.

Migration

Employers and providers of public services play a key role in welcoming migrants and refugees, providing them with basic goods and services, such as housing, water, electricity, transportation, administrative services, healthcare, education and social services.

As such, our members are committed to finding solutions on a daily basis by providing professional training opportunities, language courses, first accommodation, and so on. All those actions take place mainly at the local level and require additional support, for instance to increase the capacity and speed of public administration, which is not used to deal with such a large migration flow.

For that reason, we call on Member States to agree on excluding investments from the count of the 3% of the Stability and Growth Pact in order to enhance the infrastructure necessary to integrate refugees.

Completing the Economic and Monetary Union:the role of Competitiveness Boards

The follow-up of the Five Presidents’ Report will be instrumental in giving more impetus to investment, comprehensive structural reforms and responsible fiscal policies. In this regard, the introduction of national Competitiveness Boards in each Member States, as proposed by the European Commission, is a welcome initiative. However, we call for a truly comprehensive definition of competitiveness, including high performing public services.

Such a comprehensive definition, coupled with the full guarantee that those Boards will truly respect social partners’ autonomy when it comes to wage negotiations, will render the Competitiveness Boards an effective instrument to support the creation of jobs and growth. Public services are an integral part of the equation and this should be fully acknowledged in the process of completing the Economic and Monetary Union.

United Kingdom’s place in the EU

It is up to the British people to decide the place and role of the United Kingdom in the European Union. The key is that discussions and decisions at Council level are inspired by the EU values and principles, which are at the very heart of the European project.

“We welcome the fact that the European Commission decided to consult with the social partners on the Energy Union”, commented Valeria Ronzitti, CEEP Secretary General, following a meeting between representatives of the European social partners and Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission Vice-President for the Energy Union.

“The Energy Union Strategy needs to be at the heart of a fully-integrated project, and not as a stand-alone initiative”, said Ms Ronzitti. In that context, the involvement of the social partners can bring an important added-value, especially with regard to the anticipation of change, the new skills requirement within the workforce, as well as the up-skilling, re-skilling and retraining of workers.
On top of that, cross-sectoral social partners, especially members at national and regional level, can effectively contribute to shape National Energy and Climate Plans. “We highly value the intention of Vice-President Šefčovič to push that involvement forward. We believe that it could also trigger a broader public acceptance of the Energy Union Strategy, which is much needed in some Member States, especially where big infrastructure projects are at stake”, detailed Ms Ronzitti.

Referring to the upcoming ETS reform, CEEP believes that, in order to finance the decarbonisation transition, a revision of the ETS should aim at raising the price of the CO2 permits to the level allowing its long term financing. The ETS in its current state does not deliver an appropriate price signal, failing to stimulate investment in a decarbonised generation.

CEEP also stressed the importance for the EU to play a leading role during the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, indicating the Energy Union strategy as the right instrument for bringing the EU’s ambition position forward.

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