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.
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