Harnessing talents in EU regions

EESC opinion: Harnessing talents in EU regions

Key points

The EESC:

  • welcomes the fact that the Communication on Harnessing talent in Europe's regions commits to support the design and implementation of targeted regional and territorial strategies that are based on regions’ specific situation and assets, and by the ambitious implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR).
  • points out that the fundamental aspect of European integration – freedom of movement – needs to be ensured for all in the EU, while focusing on a long-term and holistic approach to regional development and labour market integration.
  • stresses that in order to better address the labour and skills shortages, long-term solutions are needed to support regional development, such as better infrastructure and sustainable resources.
  • welcomes the deployment of a number of EU funding tools under cohesion policy (the ERDF, ESF+, Cohesion Fund and Just Transition Fund) for the 2021-2027 programming period with a view to reducing regional disparities and implementing the EPSR.
  • calls on the European Commission and the Member States (MS) to put in place cohesion policies and EU funds to support the shaping of labour market transitions in a way that no worker or region is left behind.
  • calls on the European Commission and the MS to start discussions about the next processes supporting the MFF with regard to ensuring the evaluation of the needs and funds at EU level.
  • calls on the European Commission and the MS to ensure that European labour market and cohesion policies are based on sustainable investment in quality jobs, access to training and essential services, social dialogue, and collective bargaining, respecting the social partners.
  • calls on the European Commission and the MS to respect human rights and fight effectively against corruption, and thus uphold the rule of law – which plays a key role in making regions attractive to labour market players.
  • calls for the efficient social dialogue and effective participation of civil society organisations on all matters related with this strategy to achieve quality regional development
  • stresses the need to ensure democratic governance in regional development policies, and close cooperation among regional authorities, social partner organisations, employment services, and education and training providers in the regions.
  • calls on the European Commission to use the European Semester and the EU Social Scoreboard as tools to provide targeted recommendations to the MS to combat regional inequalities.
  • stresses the need for governments, local and regional authorities, social services, companies and trade unions to work together in the framework of social dialogue to provide effective solutions to workers concerning their parenting and caregiving needs.
  • calls on the Member States to develop skills and lifelong learning policies for regional development coupled with investment and complementary policy measures to improve the quality of and access to education and training for all.