Climate change and Rio+20, energy policy, water initiative and concessions top agenda utilities committee
(28 March 2012) The 36th Standing Committee saw a television crew of ZDF joining the meeting. It was making a reportage on the European Citizens’ Initiative and had selected the EPSU Water Campaign as an example. Members of the Committee reported on the preparations, the alliances and obstacles with the initiative. A report was also presented on the work of the EPSU delegation on the presentation during the Alternative World Water Forum in Marseille 15 March. The Committee also received a presentation on the EPSU campaign site for the www.right2water.eu campaign to be presented at World Water Day 22 March
Public service unions will participate with a delegation led by PSI in the global earth summit RIO+20 . The summit will consider the progress that is made in protecting the environment and achieving global targets and consider new ones. For the trade unions Green jobs and decent work, social protection floor and financial transaction tax will be the priorities with campaigning coordinated by the ITUC. Members discussed a short statement also reflecting on recent developments such as the position of the European Parliament on binding energy efficiency targets which EPSU supports; on moving unilaterally towards CO2 emission reduction – which can be supported by EPSU if there are social measures and compensations for sectors and regions which experience negative effects; and the campaign to obtain social and environmental criteria in public contract. EPSU is a member of a network of organisations that promotes such criteria.
European Energy Roadmap 2050 . The focus will be on developing the social dimension based on the recognition of the impact energy policy can have. EPSU will continue to work with anti-poverty campaigners to reduce energy poverty.
Networks Proposals to focus on a limited number of issues were approved.
South East European Energy Community
Concessions . National parliaments are not speaking out against the concession directive except for Germany and Austria whose Parliaments consider that the Commission proposal does not respect subsidiarity. With the directive now being treated in the EP focus will be on improving the social and governance part of the directive.
Social Dialogue Electricity issues on the agenda include:
- Nuclear Safety – Follow up of the joint statement with Eurelectric
- Energy Roadmap 2050
- Skills and Qualifications
Social Dialogue Gas An overview was given of the progress Member started a cautious discussion on the developments in both the electricity and gas sector and if there is convergence. Members will continue reflection and consider the role of the gas sector in European energy policy.
Collective Bargaining Several regions have started to compare pay and conditions. EPSU also collects general information on developments in dividends and profits of major companies, pay developments.
Transnational companies Members were briefed on recent developments in EON. It will change its legal status to an SE and negotiations will commence on the workers representation in the company. A brief presentation was also given on the recent transnational company agreement in GdfSuez on equality. The agreement is out to the unions concerned for final approval. The meeting took place on 20 March 2012, Brussels and was chaired by Sven Bergelin, president of the committee. EPSU’s Deputy General Secretary also participated. The next meeting will be 27 September 2012, Luxembourg.