On Monday 7 September 2020, the European Commission – represented by Commissioners Johansson and Schmit – and the European Social and Economic Partners (CEEP, ETUC, BusinessEurope, SMEunited and EuroChambres) renewed their commitment to the European Partnership for Integration from 2017 with a joint statement.
In the context of the COVID-19 crisis, CEEP and its partners “recall the need for a comprehensive approach to integration that empowers all relevant stakeholders at local, national and European level, and the essential role played by public authorities.” Also, looking beyond the current crisis, the signatories emphasise that labour migration can offer a unique opportunity to support economic growth and make labour markets more resilient. Cooperation with countries of origin and better intelligence on skills and labour market shortages can play an important role in this endeavour.
During the signing ceremony, Valeria Ronzitti, CEEP General Secretary, said:
“Many of the existing supporting instruments, many projects and organizations working with and helping migrants and refugees are disrupted as a consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is imperative to make sure that this supporting net remains operational throughout the crisis.”
“With the renewal of our Partnership for Integration, we must use this opportunity to ensure that our social and political infrastructures progress towards the elimination of migration-related inequality. We are committed to doing so by further fostering a multi-stakeholder approach, supporting entrepreneurship, and facilitating the identification, assessment and validation of skills at the earliest stage.”
“CEEP is willing to push for further extended cooperation with the Social and Economic Partners in the area of labour migration and to reinforce our joint effort in implementing EU-funded projects at the local level and to facilitate the labour market integration of refugees where this is more needed.”