Public sector employers stress importance of negotiated modernisation to tackle unemployment
In an opinion issued in late 1997, CEEP, the European body representing public sector employers, outlined its priorities in the area of employment policy. It wants to achieve greater job creation and a more even balance between the economic and social aspects of the single market.
In the context of the special Employment Summit held in Luxembourg on 20-21 November 1997, the European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises of General Economic Interest (CEEP) issued an "opinion on employment policies in Europe". In the document CEEP outlines its priorities in the area of employment policy, with the aim of creating more jobs and achieving a more even balance between the economic and social aspects of the EU single market.
CEEP underlines the importance of a fair balance between the single market and the "Europe of general interest" and advances four principles for job creation:
- priority must be given to generating activity and wealth, both within companies and in their environment;
- the importance of local employment initiatives and the cooperation of all economic and social actors in such measures;
- the requirement for companies to modernise to remain competitive and to expand. This has to be negotiated between the social partners at all levels to achieve a degree of consensus on the concrete form this modernisation should take; and
- recognition of the importance of the supply of goods and services of general interest, responding to the specifications laid down by the public authority, and conceded to public or private operators according to the criteria of greatest competition.
The opinion places great emphasis on the role of territorial and local partnerships and the further enhancement of the local, regional and European social dialogue process to achieve these aims. Along with the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), CEEP is one of the intersectoral social partner organisations regularly consulted by the European Commission on proposals under the Maastricht social policy Protocol and Agreement.