No Green Deal without a Social Deal - Related Opinions
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The EESC asserts that businesses and workers must have proper channels for participating in efforts to support environmental protection and combat climate change. While respecting the role of national industrial relations systems and the autonomy of the social partners, the EESC considers that issues related to the green transition could be a stronger focus of collective bargaining at the appropriate levels. It highlights collective bargaining as a key tool that can help companies and workers face the challenges of the climate crisis, including the derived costs for companies.
Democracy at work should cover all workers, types of work, as well as all workplaces, including platform workers. It makes companies more resilient, economically successful and better able to deliver on employment and decent work. Successful forms of democratic participation are also found in the social economy, and cooperatives. European Works Councils (EWCs) could be improved by improving participation rights and sanctioning infringements. More democracy in the world of work depends on cooperation of all stakeholders, and can help ease the green and digital transitions. It is crucial to educate young people in favor of democracy at work.
European citizens are interested in developments in the implementation of digital technology solutions, with a view to simplifying the necessary administrative procedures in relation to the authorities or in everyday life in society. A digitally literate population can benefit, through digital identity, from simplified access to the services provided by public authorities or the business environment.
Europe is going through a green and digital transformation and the European institutions are committed to ensuring that people remain centre-stage and that the economy works for them.
This opinion is being prepared at a time where the shift to a low-carbon economy is more urgent than ever and where new "green" occupations emerge and existing jobs need to be "greened". This implies needs for new skill sets, which necessitate updated curricula or even new qualifications across education and training levels. These new "green skills" can range from very technical and job-specific skills to "softer" skills such as responsible use of resources, which can be relevant across occupations, levels of hierarchy and sectors. While the "greening" of the economy creates skill needs, particularly in specific sectors such as energy and resource efficiency, construction and manufacturing, moving towards a circular economy creates "green" skill needs across the board.
The European Commission has put the social economy at the top of the agenda for 2020. The aim of the opinion is to emphasise the importance of the common good as a key European value, including in the area of economic activity, and to highlight the high level of innovation of social economy enterprises committed to the common good, with a focus on the provision of social services.
The EESC supports the proposals that enhance the international competitiveness of SMEs, reduce cost, harmonise and simplify processes for registration, filing of company changes and conversions. It believes that guidance by the Commission to the Member States on transposition of the directives is useful.
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