2005 Position on Communication on 'Social Agenda'

Ceemet welcomes the fact that the Commission reaffirms that the sustainable development of Europe is based on “balanced economic growth” which is thus, and Metal, Engingeering and Technology-based (MET) industry employers are sharing this finding, a precondition for “full employment and social progress”. However, in Ceemet’s view, the Social Agenda is very wide-ranging and to a certain extent contradictory. Although we share most of the goals of the Commission, we do not share its ideas of how best to achieve these.

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Ceemet key messages

  • Ceemet is firmly of the opinion that, before issuing any proposal arising from its Social Agenda which would create more legislative obligations for companies, the Commission should ensure the proper application of the EU Inter-Institutional Agreement of Better Law Making, the joint initiative on Better Regulation and the new Better Regulation package adopted by the Commission on 17 March 2005, that have been and are being pursued by the Irish, Dutch, Luxembourg and UK Presidencies.
  • Ceemet members are convinced that, in the field of social policy, more adaptability will contribute to improved competitiveness. In our view, all existing and forthcoming social policy regulations at European and national level should always be checked against the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.
  • MET sector employers also believes that all EU legislation should be subject to a thorough and transparent cost-benefit analysis, including the costs caused by unnecessary administrative burdens.
  • Ceemet sees no reason why automatic review mechanisms, for checking the effectiveness of the initiative after it has been in force for a few years, cannot be formally written into all EU legislation.
  • In the area of labour law, it is employers experience that, in cases where revisions of certain EU-Directives are being considered, this is predominantly leading to the imposition of stricter rules and unfortunately not to creating greater labour market flexibility, let alone the total withdrawal of any legislation.

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