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CEEP message to the European Council: European welfare systems and the social market economy must be preserved, whatever it takes


26 Mar 2020



Ahead of the Council video conference of today dedicated to the COVID-19 emergency, CEEP called upon EU leaders to preserve European welfare systems and the social market economy.

Valeria Ronzitti, CEEP General Secretary, commented:

“Our members, SGIs employers and providers, work tirelessly to ensure that essential and high-quality services are still available to a frightened population. Healthcare providers are, evidently, first in line on this battle and deserve particular praise. However, all SGIs around Europe have been directly hit by the coronavirus spread and this cannot be understated”.

 “We now ask EU leaders to respond to the commitment and dedication shown by our members on a daily basis with adequate measures to face this crisis, and to make sure their efforts and struggle are fully recognised all over Europe. This crisis has put in broad daylight our critical lack of physical and social infrastructures at the European level. CEEP has long warned for the consequences of undifferentiated fiscal consolidation on the operational framework for SGIs, while witnessing the unreserved support to the “for profit sector” to prepare for the transitions.”

 “It is now time to demonstrate the decisiveness of the EU’s action, with a united response, fiscal policies delivering "whatever it takes", and making full use of all possibilities through the ESM until the economic dynamic is properly restoredThe Corona Response Investment Initiative must help healthcare systems but should also provide support for heavily affected SGIs enterprises.”

 “Measures taken now will pave the way for a solid recovery based on a new paradigm where the “business case” for investing in SGIs should be a major rationale. Urgency plans are crucial, but they should not obliterate long-term needs and strategic choices. On the contrary, this crisis gives us the opportunity to confirm our engagement for a greener economy and improved infrastructure. Schools, hospitals, digital infrastructure are key today, as demonstrated by this crisis, but will also remain key for the long-term prosperity of our social market economy.”

For further information, please contact:
Maxime STAELENS, Communication Advisor
Tel.: + 32(0) 2 229 21 40

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CEEP, European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public Services and SGI, is one of the three general cross-sectoral European Social Partners. It gathers public and private providers of services of general interest from across Europe. CEEP members contribute to more than 26% of EU GDP and employ 30% of the EU workforce.