ETUC REPORT TRADE UNION INPUTS FOR NATIONAL RECOVERY AND RESILIANCE PLANS is now available!
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FOREWORD by Liina Carr
The Recovery plan for Europe has the ambition to mobilise thousands billion Euro with two main objectives: i. counteract the economic recession caused by the pandemic crisis, and ii. seize the moment to obtain a fair and just green and digital transformation of the EU economy. The ETUC supports the Recovery Plan and this report aims to contribute to the ETUC strategy to make the Recovery Plan for Europe something that brings tangible benefits to workers. This report takes also into account the governance of the RRF which largely surrogates the dynamics of the European Semester.
The governance of the RRF envisages the involvement of social partners but neither the RRF Regulation nor the Guidelines issued by the European Commission provides indication about how this should happen. This report provides guidance to all policy and decision makers on how to involve trade unions in the process.
This report takes also into account the governance of the RRF which largely surrogates the dynamics of the European Semester. The governance of the RRF envisages the involvement of social partners but neither the RRF Regulation nor the Guidelines issued by the European Commission provides indication about how this should happen. This report provides guidance to all policy and decision makers on how to involve trade unions in the process.
The EU wants to relaunch public investments. Within the Next Generation EU, 680 billion euro go to the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) which will fund an investment plan for Europe based on grants and loans to member states. The RRF is important because it imposes on the member states the obligation to set up Recovery and Resilience Plans that will determine the investment and reform strategy of each member state in the framework of a “multilateral surveillance” process. This exercise can increase the EU added value and consistency of the overall RRF but should never result in any decision to impose on member states restrictive fiscal rules but should on the contrary be conducive to a deep revision of the Stability and Growth Pact.
Private investments should also contribute to the common EU objectives. The picture should be completed with a policy and legislative framework that would encourage private investments and to direct them toward the common EU social and environmental sustainability objectives, in this regard special role will be played by the InvestEU fund, the EIB and the sustainable investment programme with its taxonomy for green and social investments. However, the ETUC stresses that RRF itself should be strictly used to increase level of net public investments. The economic recovery should be designed to adhere to higher social standards and well-being for all Europeans. Investments should have as a main output quality jobs, and higher protection of workers and their families against future shocks (resilience), and set the EU development model on sustainable tracks.
The mainstream policy frameworks are the Green Deal, the European Pillar of Social Rights with its 20 principles. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN2030 Agenda help policy decisions that systematically balance economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainability. The ETUC is giving voice to 45 million workers in the designing, implementation and monitoring of the recovery plan. For that purpose it launched a strategy called A People’s recovery. ETUC acknowledges the efforts made to elaborate and finance a Recovery Plan for Europe. With 45 million workers at risk of unemployment the stakes are very high.
The ETUC calls for A People’s Recovery which lead the EU to a socially fairer, climate-friendly, digital future. To be a People’s Recovery it needs to do more to reflect people’s real needs. It needs to
• Save and create millions of quality jobs;
• Increase investment in all sectors of the economy including social and health services;
• Leave no one behind in ambitious climate action that creates jobs and implements a socially just transition;
• Support working people hit by company restructuring;
– Digitalise our economy respecting workers’ rights and giving people more opportunities and control over their lives; • Guarantee absolutely no return to austerity now or later down the line!
ETUC Confederal Secretary