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EFCI participates in EU Tripartite Social Summit stressing relevance of services' industry perspective

* EFCI-EU-Summit.jpgThe European Cleaning & Facility Services Industry (EFCI), represented by its president  Juan Díez de los Ríos and its director Isabel Yglesias, took part in the Tripartite Social Summit yesterday on the theme 'Progressing on the social and economic dimensions for a competitive, fair and sustainable Europe'.

It is the first Social Summit to discuss a topic directly linked to climate change and its impact on the economy.

The Tripartite Social Summit is a forum for dialogue between the EU institutions at presidential level and the European Social Partners at top management level. For the last time before the establishment of the new European Commission, the meeting was co-chaired by Donald Tusk (president of the European Council) and Jean-Claude Juncker (president of the European Commission).

Finnish Prime Minister Antti Juhani Rinne (Head of State or Government of the rotating presidency), the Commission's vice president for Euro & Social Dialogue (Valdis Dombrovskis) and the commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills & Labour Mobility (Marianne Thyssen) were also present.

The employers' delegation was composed of representatives from BusinessEurope (with its president Pierre Gattaz), SMEunited (association of crafts and SMEs in Europe, with its president Ulrike Rabmer- Koller) and the European Centre of Employers and Enterprises (CEEP), accompanied by the employer's associations from the trio Presidency countries (Finland, Croatia and Germany) and the EFCI as sectoral association.

The Summit agenda included the following topics:

(i) a just transition to a climate neutral economy;
(ii) investing in skills and improving access to adult training and
(iii) designing an industrial policy fit for the future.

Juan Díez de los Ríos underlined the need to have a services-orientated policy mindset in order, for instance, to allow the services industry to rapidly integrate into the circular economy. He further highlighted the need to ensure wide access to basic digital and 'green' skills and the need to ensure the application of existing legislation and cooperation with social partners in the drive to reducing the gender gap in the labour markets.

This was EFCI's first participation to the Tripartite Social Summit, and therefore a major step forward for the cleaning and facility services sector and for EFCI's recognition as European Social Partner.

The presentations was as follows:

"I would like to thank the Finnish Presidency of the Council and the European Commission for inviting the European Cleaning and Facility Services Industry in the Tripartite Social Summit, to present the views of a growing services industry that employs nearly four million people through 270,000 companies.
I have followed with interest the previous discussions and analysed them from the perspective of a labour-intensive services sector. I would therefore like to underline some points:

(1) It is very relevant that legislative actions consider the services perspective. Indeed, business services represent over 12% of the European economy and are key drivers for increasing European productivity and transforming the economy. It is therefore crucial to have a services-oriented policy mindset in order, for instance, to allow the services sector to rapidly integrate into the circular economy. Tools like a quality-focused public procurement should be used. It could contribute to the right social conditions across business services sectors;
(2) As a sector employing up to 80 % of blue collars, the issue of skills becomes more and more central. Not only the need to ensure wide access to basic digital skills, but also those arising from the circular transition;
(3) Finally, representing a sector whose workforce is composed of up to 80 % of women in some Member States, we are convinced that in order to reduce the gender gap, focus should be put on the better enforcement and application of existing rules, with the close involvement of social partners. Closing the gap requires a cultural shift, rather than new legislative efforts.

As European Social Partners, we are committed to continue working together with the Institutions and Unions to address the employment issues arising from the climate challenge, digitalization and fight for gender equality."


17th October 2019

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