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Informal Meeting of the EPSCO Council with the European Cross-Sectoral Social Partners


09 Jul 2009


Social Europe & Jobs

From social benefits to salaries

At the troika meeting in Jönköping, 08 July 2009, CEEP welcomed the choice of the Swedish Presidency to give priority to labour market inclusion in the Employment and Social Affairs agenda and to climate change more globally as this issue has a very clear employment aspect.

CEEP is alarmed by the shocking statistic and feels it is extremely worrying that the EU, which aspires to be the most dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, only mobilises two-thirds of the working age population to participate in the labour market and thanks the Presidency for its complete and “honest” approach of Labour Market issues.

Ralf Resch, General Secretary of CEEP, said “CEEP members have vast experience of investing in green production in various fields, including for instance housing, public transport and energy. I would like to see further investments in green technology in many fields of the industry and in environment-friendly infrastructure, as they have a true potential to create new jobs, green jobs. CEEP is convinced that the work on the EU climate package has to continue and we as social partners are committed to supporting this process.”

He pointed out from the Presidency paper: “Past experience shows that the use of disability benefit schemes and early retirement schemes to mitigate a rise in unemployment is both costly and counterproductive”, adding that “to avoid repeating previous mistakes, it is necessary to replace policies that facilitate pathways out of the labour market with those that facilitate access to employment for all those who can work and want to work.”

CEEP and its members are committed to delivering a practice-oriented agreement on that issue together with its employers’ colleague and its counterpart, ETUC, while emphasising the essential contribution to the necessary labour market activation policies that comes from the public services that it represents.
Therefore, CEEP welcomes the determination shown by the Swedish Presidency in facing this troublesome issue of labour market in a down-to-earth manner.