Today [14th January 2020] the European Commission released the first proposals under the “100 days priorities”, notably the investment pillar of the Green deal and the 1st phase consultation of the social partners on minimum wage as an integral part of the Communication on building a strong social Europe for just transitions.

As a first reaction to those initiatives CEEP General Secretary Valeria Ronzitti commented:

“We welcome that the European Green deal investment plan and the EU just transition mechanism were published on the same day. To hope achieving the high level of ambition of the green deal we need the right funding attached to it, both in terms of support to infrastructures with the Investment Plan and in terms of investment in people with the Just transition Fund. For all this to be sustainable we also need a clear social roadmap as employers cannot be left alone in anticipating and managing transitions. In this regard, we strongly welcome the fact that the communication on social Europe also addresses transitions because employers and workers will face many of them beyond the environmental one. Everything is interlinked and we hope to keep seeing this comprehensive approach also in the future concrete proposals. Not only at EU but also at national and local level.

Apart from this general support, however, we can already express concerns:

“While welcoming the proposal for a just transition fund we wish to issue an early warning as to make sure local and regional actors have the capacity on the ground to benefit from these new 3 pillars architecture and to avoid complexity. To further improve the outreach of the new fund we call on the Commission to rely on National Public Investment banks and on their unique knowledge of structural needs and possibilities for investing at National level.”

“We also believe that Social dialogue and collective bargaining should have been identified, in the first stage consultation on minimum wage, as the first and foremost solution to foster adequate and fair minimum wages in Europe. We believe social dialogue is insufficiently identified as the key solution for all Member States and CEEP will make sure this important role is highlighted in its response to the consultation.”

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