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SGI Europe at the informal meeting of EU Ministers of Employment and Social Affairs
On Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th February, SGI Europe took part in the informal meeting of ministers for work, employment and social affairs (EPSCO) organised in Bordeaux by the French presidency of the Council of the European Union. This informal ministerial meeting brought together the 27 ministers responsible for labour, employment, and social policy around central themes of the French Presidency, in particular the impact of climate change and digitalisation on the labour market. Read more.
Contact: Guillaume Afellat
Awarding Ceremony of the 8th edition of the SGI Europe CSR Label on 23 February
In the framework of the 8th edition of its CSR Label, SGI Europe will hold the Awarding Ceremony of this edition on 23 February 2022, from 09.00-17.00, with the support of SGI France and Électricité de France.
SGI Europe will welcome, amongst others, Mr Pierre-André Imbert, Deputy Secretary General of the Presidency of the French Republic, who will provide a keynote speech. In the context of the key role the sustainable finance plays in achieving the objectives of the EU Green Deal, the first part of the Awarding Ceremony (morning) is dedicated to a special learning event about the ‘EU Taxonomy Regulation’ which comes as a first step in creating a new learning framework for SGI providers.
The workshop will have as special guests Mr Nathan Fabian, Chair of the Platform on sustainable finance, Ms Helena Vines Fiestas, Chair of the Subgroup 5 of the Platform, and Ms Antje Schneeweiß, chair of the Subgroup 4 of the Platform.
You can find the agenda of the event here and register to attend online through the following link.
Contact: Stefan Enica
SGI Europe’s amendments to the EP ETS draft report
The EU Emissions Trading Scheme is a cornerstone of the EU’s climate policies. Launched in 2005 with the aim of setting a cap on emissions on a ‘cap and trade’ principle, almost 50% of the EU industry is now covered by the ETS and its review aims to further lower the cap in order to reduce emissions. After the European Commission presented a proposal to revise the ETS on 14 July 2021, it is now on the table of the European Parliament.
Earlier this week, SGI Europe circulated its proposed amendments to the draft report, welcoming the draft report with regard to the adjustment of the Linear Reduction Factor (LRF) in the existing EU ETS. In particular, we positively received the finding of a compromise that would allow the extension to a separate emissions trading for the building, road transport and small industry sectors. However, SGI Europe regrets to see the inclusion of municipal waste and its thermal treatment in the ETS and asks to remove this from the draft report. Additionally, SGI Europe calls for a continuation of the free allocation of free certificates in the EU ETS for district heating and combined heat and power (CHP) to ensure security of supply for electricity and heat.
The adoption of the final report in the Parliament is expected for 16 May 2022. SGI Europe will continue until then to advocate for a balanced and science-based revised EU ETS.
Contact: Henriette Gleau
SGI Europe’s response to the European Commission’s consultation on the non-paper on the PSO Regulation
SGI Europe has contributed to the internal stakeholder consultation organised by the European Commission on the revision of the Public Service Obligation Regulation on public passenger transport services by rail and by road (PSO Regulation), a key file for the organisation and financing of public transport.
The revised PSO Regulation aims to create an internal market for public passenger transport services whilst confirming Member States’ competence to define public transport services according to the needs of the population. The Regulation achieves this by complementing the general rules on public procurement. It also lays down the conditions under which compensation payments stipulated in public service contracts and concessions for public service obligations shall be deemed compatible with the rules of the internal market in the EU and exempt from prior State aid notification.
In its response, SGI Europe highlighted that the organisation and financing of public transport services is critical for the EU recovery and for achieving the net-zero carbon goals. However, SGI Europe identified two main inconsistencies. First, the draft guidelines go beyond the text of the regulation and/or contain new and questionable interpretations of the Treaty and case law, likely to lead to constraints on public authorities designing and providing public services. Secondly, the very narrow definition of a public service obligation, which counteracts the efforts of the Urban Mobility Framework, should therefore be adapted. Additional important elements on transport procedures further highlight that the proposed revision needs to be adapted to better take into account public transport.
The issue will be discussed during the upcoming meeting of the Transport Task Force on 23 February 2022.
Contact: Henriette Gleau
Publication of the 8th Cohesion Report “Cohesion in Europe towards 2050”
On Wednesday 9th February 2022, the Commission published the eighth report on economic, social and territorial cohesion, entitled Cohesion in Europe towards 2050. The report presents the main changes in territorial disparities over the past decade and how policies have affected these disparities.
This rather long report (353 pages) examines the current state of play of the cohesion policy and its role in reducing the disparities as well as the recommendations on how the cohesion policy should develop, particularly in the context of green and digital transition. To point out only the most striking facts of the current state of play: the cohesion policy has become one of the most important sources of investment, with the growth of funding from the equivalent of 34% to 52% of total public investment from the 2007– 2013 programming period to the 2014–2020 programming period. Furthermore, it contributed to reducing regional disparities by facilitating investments in infrastructure, skills, innovation, and governance.
The report dedicates a substantial part to the twin transition, which is recognised as a major opportunity but at the same time also as a great risk of deepening the social and regional disparities if not led in a fair and even way.
Importantly, the 2022 Cohesion Forum will launch a debate amongst stakeholders on the lessons to be drawn from the recent crisis and a reflection on future challenges for cohesion policy, ensuring that no territory is left behind. This 8th Cohesion Forum will take place from 17 to 18 March 2022.
Contact: Manca Pocivavsek
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