Time for more ambition on jobs in the EU's Circular Economy Package

(16 December 2015 - press release) Today European ministers will have the chance to discuss Commissioner Vella’s proposals for the promotion of a Circular Economy when the European Commission presents its Circular Economy Package to the Environment Council.

Establishing a Circular Economy through waste reduction, re-use, repair and recycling is a crucial goal in a world of rapidly rising consumption and finite resources. It will be key to achieving targets outlined in the historic COP21 agreement signed last Saturday. It also presents us with a unique opportunity to create new, skilled green jobs.

Jan Willem Goudriaan, Secretary General of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) wants to see more ambition from the Commission and the inclusion of a framework for decent, quality jobs on the Circular Economy agenda.
"In order to reach its full potential the Circular Economy must be ambitious in its vision for jobs and the green economy and promote a Just Transition for workers. It is disappointing to see a Package that doesn’t integrate the Green Employment policies.

{"EPSU welcomes the Commission’s recognition that the transition to a circular economy will require a qualified workforce and social dialogue, but the lack of any concrete proposals to protect workers from low-skilled and low-wage employment and poor health and safety standards is of serious concern to trade unions.

“We want to create a Circular Economy that re-uses and recycles its materials, not its workers. As such, the Commission's proposals must include a social chapter that guarantees quality, decent, skilled jobs and a clear role for trade unions.}

"We will continue to fight to realise a Circular Economy. We need an EU strategy that realises its full employment potential, and look now to the European Parliament to push for a stronger Package following its call for a genuinely ambitious proposal this July.

For further information, please contact:
Ruby Waterworth, rwaterworth@epsu.org +32 2 2501089

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