On Wednesday 27 November, in its plenary sitting, the European Parliament expressed its support to the College of Commissioners presided over by Ursula von der Leyen, as well as to the political priorities identified. With 461 votes of support (which is 39 votes more than Jean-Claude Juncker in 2014), the von der Leyen Commission is now set for the new European Commission to start its activities on 1 December.
Building up on the outcomes of the Juncker Commission, the priorities identified by President von der Leyen in her Political Guidelines will support the EU to face the triple transition: decarbonised, global and digital. It is now time to effectively deliver on those promises and ensure that the EU remain a beacon for peace, prosperity and sustainability. This new EU institutional cycle should support bold ambitions for Europe, whilst ensuring the proper articulation between the EU, national, regional and local levels.
Setting up an EU Green Deal, ensuring that the economy works for the people, making Europe fit for the digital age: in this new institutional cycle, CEEP will make sure that employers and providers of public services and services of general interest are recognised as instrumental to bring to life those priorities.
As the cross-sectoral social partner representing providers of public services and SGIs, CEEP supports the proposed approach to better bridge EU decision-making and the reality of enterprises, workers and citizens. Social partners should be natural partners in that exercise, building up on the frequent consultation on any initiative having an impact on growth and jobs’ creation and their integration into the debates to shape the future of Europe. The Conference on the Future of Europe will play a central role, and we will engage with President von der Leyen and her College of Commissioners to ensure that the social partners are a part of that initiative.
One golden opportunity for CEEP to highlight its commitments to the EU integration and place its members at the heart of the discussions, will be the Public Services Summit 2019, which will be held on 12 December at the European Economic and Social Committee (Rue Belliard 99-101, in Brussels). Besides CEEP members, the event will bring together EU institutional leaders and decision makers, as well as representatives of EU associations. CEEP will welcome, amongst others, Karl-Heinz Lambert, President of the Committee of the Regions, Luca Jahier, President of the European Economic and Social Committee and Katrin Langensiepen, vice-chair of the Employment committee of the European Parliament. Now that the European Commission has officially been confirmed to enter into office on 1 December 2019, the event’s agenda will quickly find its final form and the names of the other confirmed guests will be announced soon.
We are now entering a crucial phase, during which CEEP has the opportunity to build a stable relationship with the new European leadership, starting with the European Commission President and Executive Vice-Presidents and the President of the Council of the EU.