EU energy and climate change policy 2030: employers and unions agree on Just transition agenda

(4 March 2014) The European Commission presented the EU energy and climate change policy framework for 2030, 20 January 2014. The Commission proposes CO2 emission reductions of 40% in 2030. It also has conducted a number of impact assessments that show the implications for prices, for jobs and skills and qualifications of different targets and scenarios.

The employers and unions raised a large number of questions focused on the employment and price implications of various policies. There is broad concern that policies which are not in tune with EU trading partners some of which have lower energy prices, could be detrimental to the industrial development of the EU. It is important that the EU continues to have a strong industrial basis. A big concern is the lack of investments that are available for renewal of capacity, for networks etc.

Employers (represented by Eurelectric) underlined the importance of regulatory risks for the industry. Overall long term goals are important. The [employers and trade union side agree->art10064] that the Commission should include a Transition perspective in its policies, something which is currently lacking despite the [positive response->art10090] of the European Commissioner for Energy to the Social partners. {Other issues addressed:} - Follow up to the [CSR joint statement->art10129]. It was agreed to further consider the idea of the checklist and possibly to organise a workshop. - [Energy Community South East Europe->www.epsu.org/r/239].

The employers and trade unions agreed to address the high level reflection group on the future of the Energy Community for South East Europe Treaty. The social partners agree that the Memorandum of Understanding on the social aspects of the Energy Community should be included. They already addressed a [joint position->art9370] to the energy community secretariat and Ministerial Council. They further exchanged views on the working group of the social partners on [the regional social dialogue->art9810] and how progress could be made. - [Progress with the Joint Framework of Actions->9368].

An overview was given of the responses received by employers and trade unions regarding the implementation. A fuller report will be prepared for the June meeting. - Quality Framework on Traineeships. The social partners had agreed a [joint position->art9369] on the public consultation and have now agreed to address the Commission proposal for framework. The union side will make a proposal to Eurelectric on this to be further considered at the next meeting. Discussion also took place on a request of the social partners of the hairdressing sector to question the decision of the European Commission to not propose the hairdressers agreement to the Council despite the clear instructions in the Treaty to this effect. The next meeting is on 13 June 2014. The EPSU delegation had members from Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden. The EPSU Deputy General Secretary participated.

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