The Croatian presidency comes at a crucial time with the new European Commission being fully operational and a European Parliament that is ready to go for their mandates of the next 5 years.
In its first ever Presidency of the Council of the EU, Croatia has - under the motto A strong Europe in a world of challenges - set out 4 priorities:
- A Europe that develops
- A Europe that connects
- A Europe that protects
- An influential Europe
The priorities are interlinked as developing requires a mindset that can connect the dots and protects what needs to be protected. Eventually, the EU will maintain its place on a global level where China and the USA are more competitive than ever.
The Croatian Presidency assessed ‘employment & social affairs’ related issues and based upon that, their priorities.
Ceemet - European Tech & Industry Employers agrees on the priorities the Croatian Presidency identified based upon that assessment. The negative demographic trends, the lack of right skills for the (agile) labour markets of the future and, also in relation with the previous trend, the underrepresentation of women in the labour markets require high quality solutions.
The Croatian Presidency describes the link between sustainable economic growth and strengthening of social convergence, which should not go just in one direction, and wants in order to achieve these objectives, devote special attention to the implementation of policies.
The priorities are interwoven, and the Croatian Presidency acknowledges that. E.g. the key priority ‘New job markets, the importance of knowledge, education, innovation and lifelong learning’ clearly links economic growth to education and agile labour markets.
Ceemet has done a similar exercise in 2019 identifying similar priorities and bundling them into a 10 Point Plan. The 10 thematic areas identify in the digital industrial era (Point 4) the global challenges the labour markets face (Point 6) and while encouraging investment (Point 8), describe the skills gap (Point 5) and more importantly ways to close it.
If addressed well, the 10 Point Plan will contribute to make the EU future-proof as it clearly links the success of the EU to its internationally competitive industry that provides quality jobs.
It will take time before any initiative can provide tangible results. That is why it is important to find a common response to increase employability. The 10 Point Plan is a tool that can help delivering on the 4 priorities set out by the Croatian Presidency.
Stakeholders agreeing on the priorities is the best starting position this Presidency could dream of.