Last week, at the occasion of the meeting of the Public Services Board, CEEP signed up to join the Cohesion Alliance. Thierry Durnerin, chair of the CEEP Public Services Board, signed the Alliance in presence of Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the Committee of the Regions.
The #CohesionAlliance is a coalition of those who believe that EU cohesion policy must continue to be a pillar of the EU’s future. The Alliance was created through cooperation between the European Committee of the Regions and leading European associations of cities and regions. For CEEP, joining this Alliance is a strong signal of our commitment to supporting the objectives of the European Cohesion Policy, and gives credit to the role played by providers of public services and of services of general interest in supporting upwards convergence in Europe.
The future of the Cohesion Policy is inextricably linked to the future of the EU. It is indeed vital for a strong and effective European Union. Strengthening economic, social and territorial cohesion is one of the most important and comprehensive EU policies, and it is an essential component of the Treaties and a pillar of the European integration process, just like the internal market or the Economic and Monetary Union. Cohesion policy ensures that the less developed Member States, regions and municipalities can benefit from the advantages offered by EU integration.
Employers and providers of public services and of services of general interest play a similar role at local and regional level. By providing key essential services to citizens, CEEP members directly contribute to ensuring a level-playing field for all citizens, regardless of where they live in Europe. As such, they also directly contribute to the cohesion policy, by supporting the implementation of its main political priorities on the ground:
- Increasing the adaptability of our enterprises,
- Enhancing access to employment and participation in the labour market,
- Reinforcing social inclusion by combating discrimination and facilitating access to the labour market for disadvantaged people,
- Promoting partnerships for reform in the fields of employment and inclusion,
This strong positioning in favour of a future cohesion policy is emerging within our membership in the context of the ongoing discussions on the future Multi-Annual Financial Framework. Indeed,
supporting the cohesion policy and upward convergence throughout Europe is in the DNA of the services our members deliver on a daily basis.
And we intend to keep it that way.