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JOINT STATEMENT: EU-U.S. Summit: A critical milestone for the global agenda

For the last century, the transatlantic partnership has been the backbone of the global economy. Consumers and producers, workers and companies, citizens and their governments across the Atlantic and beyond have benefitted from the deep integrative forces that bind the United States and Europe together. By itself, the economic relationship creates 16 million jobs, generates half of total global consumption and accounts for one third of global GDP.

However, the previously undisputed leadership of the U.S. and Europe in the international system has become more precarious in recent times, as the tectonic plates of the geopolitical landscape shift. Furthermore, a once-in-a-generation global pandemic, an economic recession and a climate emergency have added to the challenges facing Transatlantic leadership.

In this context, the EU-U.S. Summit taking place on 15 June in Brussels is a critical milestone. Since the Biden Administration took office, we have seen an encouraging new momentum in the transatlantic relationship. The Summit represents an opportunity for these strategic partners to map out a positive, proactive agenda that builds on these encouraging early signs. By identifying substantive areas for cooperation, the EU and the U.S. can ensure that the transatlantic relationship continues to rhyme with prosperity, stability, welfare and leadership.

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Major European Hospitality industry stakeholders call for stronger focus by the EU institutions on the sector’s recovery

11 associations and trade unions representing the European hospitality industry and its value chain warmly welcome this week’s discussions at EU level on the survival of the sector.

COVID-19 severely impacted the hospitality industry and its value chain, with establishments being forced to shut down at short notice as part of the collective fight against the virus and many workers being laid off temporarily or definitely. These hospitality businesses are part of the European social and economic fabric, bringing diversity and vitality to city centres, rural communities, villages and tourist areas across Europe, and providing millions of jobs. This is part of the European way of life, combining tourism, high-quality food, services and culture.

European Parliament Plenary this week: hospitality and tourism high on the agenda

It’s been a year since Commissioner Breton announced “A Marshall Plan for the European Tourism”. We appreciate the EU Institutions’ recognition of the massive long-term impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on our industry and their will to further discuss strategies out of the crisis.” But much remain to be done. In particular, we warmly welcome today’s European Parliament Plenary meeting discussion on ‘Saving the summer tourism season – EU support to the European hospitality sector’, and tomorrow’s vote on the Digital Green Certificate, and look forward to the outcome of the debate.

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EuroCommerce feedback accompanying the answers to the questionnaire of the public consultation on the EU Strategy for Sustainable Textiles

In the new Circular Economy Action Plan the Commission announced that a dedicated EU strategy for textiles is planned for 2021. We welcome that the Commission is working on a comprehensive strategy dedicated to all textiles and EuroCommerce would like to express that our sector wants to be part of the future dialogue towards a systematic and positive change in the textile ecosystem. We encourage the EU Commission to continue the closest collaboration with retailers and wholesalers in the further materialization of the EU Strategy for Textiles as clarified in the roadmap.  

As described in the Commission’s Annual Single Market Report 2021 from May 2021, that accompanied the update to the 2020 EU Industrial Strategy, the Retail Ecosystem and the Textile Ecosystem are two separate, but linked industrial ecosystems, because textile retail is one of the biggest subcategories of retailers and the shutdown of retail outlets also impacted the textile producers. Therefore, the Commission needs to differ between retailers and wholesalers and producers within the EU Textile Strategy, because not all retailers and wholesalers have a direct influence of how the products they sell are produced. This distinction is often missing in the questionnaire and should be taken into account in the final strategy.   

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the current socio-economic context this initiative is needed more than ever. With the closure of non-essential retail, the very low in footfall in town centres, and the dramatic loss of consumer confidence, the COVID-19 pandemic is having a severe economic impact on the whole textile and fashion supply chain.

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Joint Statement: European employers are committed to create the conditions for return to employment, job creation and better skills matching as part of the recovery

With this statement, BusinessEurope and the signatory European sectoral employers express the clear message to public authorities and trade unions at all levels that European employers are committed to make their best efforts to continually employ and create new job opportunities in Europe, highlighting at the same time their needs to be able to do so.

The EU, in common with the rest of the global economy, is presently experiencing the deepest recession since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Whilst the situation remains very uncertain, the European Commission forecast is for the EU economy to fall by about 8.3% this year, far deeper than during the Global Financial crisis in 2009.

Europe’s response to the crisis has so far allowed to contain the employment and social impact of the crisis in a more effective way than has been the case in other world regions. Strong and autonomous social partners in Europe have been an asset for rapidly designing and implementing fairly balanced crisis-related solutions, including the role of collective bargaining.

In particular, BusinessEurope and the signatory European sectoral employers have engaged in a variety of initiatives and activities in the last months, with their respective trade union counterparts, aiming to inform the European response to the crisis based on their real time analysis of economic and social trends deriving from the Covid-19 crisis.

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Strengthening sectoral social dialogue in the services industry: The all-important role of social partners in building a resilient Europe.

The origin of European social dialogue lies in the EU’s decision to address social and economic issues arising from the creation of an EU single market through discussions between representatives of employers and workers (Art. 154f). Social dialogue has been the cornerstone of the social dimension of the single market.

The services sectors, that we represent, are the backbone of Europe’s economy. They underpin both growth and job creation, as well as Europe’s competitiveness in the world. Our social dialogues are key instruments for developing both quality services and jobs. At the same time, technological advances, such as digitalisation, have led to significant changes in the services sectors, resulting in possible overlaps between some European sectoral social dialogues.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the services’ sectors have proven their importance and enabled our economies and societies to keep going. At European level, sectoral social dialogue of the services sectors has provided the framework for the discussion and adoption of joint statements, recommendations, and guidelines and proved to be an essential channel to communicate sectoral needs to the European institutions. Services’ social partners emphasised the importance of a constructive sectoral social dialogue. Sectoral social dialogue was instrumental in engaging common discussions in the sectors on the consequences for the ‘after Covid-19’ world of work as well as the requirements for recovery.

Our initiative to discuss common challenges among the European sectoral social partners from the services sectors complements our respective social dialogues’ endeavours. We welcome the opportunity to highlight the importance of European sectoral social dialogue and look forward to exchanging further on how to strengthen it during these critical times.

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