(27 March 2012) The employers and unions of the electricity sector considered a dense agenda at their meeting 16 March 2012. The agenda reflects the large number of issues of importance to the sector. The main discussions were on the energy roadmap 2050 and the Commission Green Paper on Restructuring.
Energy roadmap. The Social partners noted that the Commission had taken account of their opinion which stressed just transition and decent jobs and that an earlier version lacked a social dimension. The social partners agreed to continue to work and look at the social and societal impact of different technologies and how the energy roadmaps 2050 could be accompanied. While there is a focus on energy security, competitiveness and the internal market, a broader perspective was also referred to on both sides including energy poverty, ensuring that global temperatures do not move beyond 2 degrees, services of general interest and the targets for 2050.
Restructuring The European Commission has published a Green Paper on restructuring. The social partners considered if it is appropriate to make a joint contribution based on the work that has been done by the social partners especially with regard to the toolkit on restructuring. It was stressed that the Commission should respect the position the Treaty gives to the employers and trade unions and follow the procedures. Employers stressed the importance of addressing restructuring at the local level and pointed towards the broader societal context, also with the discussion on the energy roadmap. Technological and regulatory changes as well as profit-seeking drive restructuring in the electricity sector,
Other issues addressed:
Joint project on mapping skills Members were briefed on the results of the Steering Committee that took place 28 February 2012. See also: www.epsu.org/a/8541. A special session is foreseen for 15 November 2012 which is to bring together social partners and training providers, labour market researchers etc.
Nuclear Safety The secretariats will consider the appropriate response to a letter received from the European Commission in response to their joint position. Not all issues have been addressed. For background see here. The social partners also agreed to invite a representative to a next meeting to update them on the nuclear stress tests and the proposals the Commission will consider to improve nuclear safety.
Framework of Action The employers and unions agreed to develop a framework of actions on skills and qualifications based on the statements adopted so far. The unions have suggested to focus on climate change and adaptation, elderly workers, young workers and apprenticeships and on mainstreaming equality.
Eurofound representativity study The European Foundation for Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) undertakes studies to consider the representativity of European trade union federations and employers’ federations. Eurofound will repeat the representativity study for the electricity sector in 2012.
CSR The employers and unions already agreed to update the earlier work on corporate social responsibility. They will also reflect on the proposals of the European Commission to establish a CSR platform for the sector when such proposals are published. Such a platform will bring together many different stakeholders.
Social Dilaogue workshop Vienna As part of the follow up to the Social Forums for the Energy Community (see www.epsu.org/r/237) the Commission and Energy Secretariat organise this workshop. Several EPSU unions will participate.
2012 Work programme The programme will be updated.
Next plenary meeting is 25 May 2012