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EU Pay Transparency Proposal: Sectoral Employers’ Organisations Suggest A More Balanced Approach

The European employers’ organisations, Ceemet (MET industries), Geopa (agriculture), Hotrec (hospitality), ECEG (chemical, pharmaceutical, plastic and rubber industries), EFCI (cleaning and facility services) and EuroCommerce (retail and wholesale) strongly support the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value, as stated in the European Treaties. Employers consider pay discrimination unacceptable and they are fully committed to promoting equal opportunities and equal remuneration.  
Despite this, the sectors fear that the Commission’s proposal on pay transparency does not address the root causes of the gender pay gap. Instead, it challenges social partners’ autonomy, businesses’ competitiveness, and the role of the Member States. 

To make the Directive workable in practice, we request that the EU institutions consider the following proposals in the upcoming negotiations.

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EU Pay Transparency proposal: Sectoral employers’ organisations urge the plenary to endorse a more balanced approach on Pay Transparency

The European employers’ organisations, Ceemet (MET industries), ECEG (chemical, pharmaceutical, plastic and rubber industries), Geopa (agriculture), Hotrec (hospitality), EFCI (cleaning and facility services) and EuroCommerce (retail & wholesale) regret the outcome of the vote at the EMPL and FEMM committee’s on the Commission’s proposal on pay transparency.

We reiterate our strong support for the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value, as stated in the European Treaties. We consider that pay discrimination is not acceptable and we are fully committed to promoting equal opportunities and equal remuneration.

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Joint Industry Letter on Single Market Distortions

The 1st of January 2023 will mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the European Single Market. One of the EU’s greatest achievements, the Internal Market is the key driver of EU economic integration. This has been essential to the growth of the European economy and remains crucial to Europe’s global competitiveness. It has brought about greater economies of scale while improving the allocation of resources and enabling the EU to set high harmonised safety standards for consumers and environmental protection.

Today, Europe faces new challenges and has new priorities. Chief amongst these is the European Green Deal and the need for a transition towards a circular and climate neutral economy. The packaging industry, the consumer goods industry and downstream operators understand this imperative and are fully committed to resource-efficient circularity goals. However, fragmentation of the Single Market due to countries taking divergent measures is undermining this commitment and hampering EU industry’s aspiration to lead the transformation towards a more sustainable economy. In light of this, the undersigned associations call on the EU to create one single circular economy not 27 separate ones, underpinned by an integrated Single Market.

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Services Directive: a comprehensive report on its application under Article 41 - Joint Letter to DG GROW

BUSINESSEUROPE, EUROCHAMBRES and EUROCOMMERCE have been consistently stressing the importance of the services sector to the EU economy, businesses and consumers alike. Economic activity in Europe remains disproportionately hit by Covid-19, and the service sector will be crucial to accelerating Europe’s recovery.

The overall post-2019 contribution to the EU economy from services is estimated at €389bn or 2.28% of EU GDP, and a further €284bn of gains would be possible under full implementation of the Services Directive*. The growing trend for EU industry to offer substantial services alongside their products and use services as input also provides a major opportunity to both service providers and industry: services generate 27% of the value added in EU manufacturing compared to 20% in the US; yet our productivity in services is only around half that of the US level**. It is therefore clear that significant growth potential remains untapped as long as there is no free movement of services in the EU.

The European Commission’s Long-term Action Plan for Implementation and Enforcement of Single Market Rules partly acknowledged the current situation with the measures on services it foresees. However, a difficult political debate caused a set-back to the agenda on services as the Commission was forced to withdraw the remainder of the 2017 Services Package.

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EuroCommerce and GS1 in Europe call for open, inclusive and decentralised EU Digital product passport

Speaking at the GS1 global forum 2022, EuroCommerce Director General Christel Delberghe and GS1 in Europe Chairman Gregor Herzog launched a joint paper calling for the EU digital passport to be designed to allow companies and consumers to make greener and more sustainable choices and investments, based on open and global product data standards already in use by companies.

Christel Delberghe said:

“We are pleased to again join forces with GS1 on a subject with real significance to the success of the Green Deal and Circular Economy. An EU digital product passport can be a valuable tool for companies and consumers in providing data across the supply chain.  As our paper underlines, it must go with the grain of existing processes and standards, to make it easy for companies to adopt and consumers to access and be flexible to accommodate new developments in a rapidly changing market.” 

Gregor Herzog, Chairman, GS1 in Europe said:

“The European Sustainable Product Initiative is a priority for GS1 in Europe, and the digital product passport is a great opportunity to show the value proposition of the GS1 standards, especially towards the retailer community. As a follow up of the MoU signed in 2019, this joint paper shows synergies between EuroCommerce and GS1 in Europe and a joint vision on important challenges like product data interoperability and portability.”


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