Procedure : 2010/2010(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0234/2010

Texts tabled :

A7-0234/2010

Debates :

Votes :

PV 07/09/2010 - 6.9
CRE 07/09/2010 - 6.9
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2010)0299

REPORT     
PDF 377kDOC 259k
20 July 2010
PE 439.396v04-00 A7-0234/2010

on developing the job potential of a new sustainable economy

(2010/2010(INI))

Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

Rapporteur: Elisabeth Schroedter

ERRATA/ADDENDA
MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
 OPINION Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
 OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
 OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on developing the job potential of a new sustainable economy

(2010/2010(INI))

The European Parliament,

–    having regard to the Commission communication entitled 'Europe 2020: A European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth' (COM(2010)2020),

–    having regard to the Commission communication entitled 'Mainstreaming sustainable development into EU policies: 2009 Review of the European Union Strategy for Sustainable Development' (COM(2009)0400),

–   having regard to the Commission proposal for a Council Decision on guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States, Part II of the Europe 2020 Integrated Guidelines (COM(2010)0193),

–    having regard to Regulation (EC) No 106/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008 on a Community energy-efficiency labelling programme for office equipment (recast version)(1),

–   having regard to Directive 2010/31/EU(2) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings (recast version),

–    having regard to Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC(3),

–    having regard to the Commission White Paper entitled 'Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action' (COM(2009)0147) and its resolution thereon of 6 May 2010(4),

–    having regard to the Commission communication entitled 'Greening Transport' (COM(2008)0433),

–    having regard to the Commission communication entitled 'Strategy for the internalisation of external costs' (COM(2009)0435),

–    having regard to the Commission communication entitled 'An Energy Policy for Europe' (COM(2007)0001),

–    having regard to the conclusions of the European Council of 10/11 December 2009, in particular points 21-24,

–    having regard to the Council Presidency Report on the 2009 Review of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy(5),

–    having regard to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and to the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC,

–    having regard to the 2007 IPPC document entitled 'Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report, Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change',

–    having regard to the 2006 Stern Review Report on the Economics of Climate Change,

–    having regard to the 2008 UNEP, ILO, IOE and ITUC Green Jobs Initiative entitled 'Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World',

–    having regard to the ILO background note entitled 'Global Challenges for Sustainable Development: Strategies for Green Jobs' submitted to the G8 Labour and Employment Ministers Conference held in Niigata, Japan, from 11 to 13 May 2008,

–    having regard to the OECD's 'Declaration on Green Growth', adopted at the Council Meeting at Ministerial Level held on 25 June 2009, and its ongoing Green Growth Strategy,

–    having regard to the 2009 Greenpeace and European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) report entitled 'Working for the climate: renewable energy and the green job revolution',

–    having regard to the 2007 European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and Social Development Agency (SDA) report on 'Climate Change and Employment: Impact on employment in the European Union-25 of climate change and CO2 emission reduction measures by 2030',

–   having regard to Ruhr Economic Papers 156 "Economic impacts from the Promotion of Renewable Energy Technologies, The German Experience",

–   having regard to CEPOS publication "Wind Energy, the case of Denmark",

–   having regard to the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos publication "Study of the effects on employment of public aid to renewable energy sources",

–   having regard to the Commission Communication of 14 December 2007 on pre-commercial procurement (COM(2007) 799),

–    having regard to the Commission's 'Employment in Europe 2009' report, in particular Chapter 3: Climate change and labour market outcomes,

–    having regard to the Commission communication entitled 'A European Economic Recovery Plan' (COM(2008)0800) and its resolution thereon of 11 March 2009(6),

–    having regard to the Commission communication entitled 'Driving European recovery' (COM(2009)0114),

–        having regard to the European social partners' joint analysis, entitled 'Key challenges facing European labour markets', of 18 October 2007,

–    having regard to the European social partners' 2002 'Framework of actions for the lifelong development of competencies and qualifications',

–   having regard to the Commission communication entitled 'New Skills for New Jobs - Anticipating and matching labour market and skills needs' (COM(2008)0868), and the report by the Expert Group on 'New Skills for New Jobs: Action Now' of February 2010,

–    having regard to the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) 2009 research paper entitled 'Future Skills Needs for the Green Economy',

–    having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–    having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, the Committee on Regional Development and the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (A7-0234/2010),

A.  whereas, in 2009, the European Council confirmed that sustainable development is a key objective of the Lisbon Treaty; whereas the guidelines of the EU sustainability strategy include the combined consideration of economic, social and ecological interests, intensifying social dialogue, greater social responsibility for companies and the precaution and polluter pays principles,

B.  whereas the promotion of a social, resource-efficient, ecological and competitive economy is one of the focuses of the Europe 2020 strategy,

C. whereas industrialised countries should according to the Copenhagen Accord reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 80-90% of the 1990 level by 2050,

D. whereas the impact of climate change in Europe varies from one region to another; whereas according to a Commission study(7) the regions in southern and eastern Europe, where more than one third of the European Union’s population lives, are particularly exposed to the pressure of climate change, whereas the most vulnerable population groups are those worst affected, and whereas greater regional and social imbalances may develop as a result,

E.  whereas the change towards a more sustainable economy has different positive effects on different sectors, namely, whereas jobs are created, replaced, or partially cease to exist; whereas all jobs should be adapted to sustainable, resource-efficient production and working methods, and the greatest need for adaptations therefore arises in existing employment relationships, with flexible employment relationships being desirable,

F.  whereas figures in the Green Paper on Demographic Change (COM(2005) 94) show that the working age population of the EU will fall by 20.8 million (6.8%) between 2005 and 2030 and whereas the number of people aged over 60 is now increasing twice as fast as it did before 2007 – by about two million every year compared to one million previously,

G.  whereas this change has the potential to stabilise employment and to increase the number of jobs, with considerable spill-over effects, whereas, where reliable framework conditions have been introduced, a constant rise in employment possibilities and job security can be noted, which is stabilised by increasing exports,

H.  whereas the necessary economic growth and resulting employment gains in an innovation-based economy cannot be achieved unless European researchers and businesses are able to convert their research results into commercial products, whereas the Commission’s Innovation Scoreboard shows an innovation gap of 30% with the USA and 40% with Japan,

I.   whereas in some new sectors social dialogue structures do not yet exist; whereas there are cases of new sectors where collective agreements do not exist, or existing ones are not applied, and sector-specific codes do not exist either; whereas all sectors are subject to great pressure to increase their competitiveness, whereas, in regions with high unemployment, the pressure to accept poor working conditions is high,

J.   whereas a long-term job insecurity has developed in the EU labour market over the last two decades, with young people especially tending increasingly to work on short-term contracts with poorer working conditions, whereas new jobs created under these circumstances cannot be regarded as sustainable, whereas these structural deficiencies need to be addressed in the context of seeking to develop the job potential of a new sustainable economy,

K. whereas the transition towards a new sustainable economy should not be a pretext for excluding the most vulnerable and least qualified workers from the employment market, whereas, therefore, there is a need to avoid the ‘cream-skimming’ effect of which the least qualified workers would be the first victims,

L.  whereas gender equality is an objective of the Lisbon Treaty and one of the Millennium Development Goals; whereas women are underrepresented in various sectors, and can therefore not profit from the increase in jobs in the new sustainable economy to the same extent,

M. whereas a new economy will take shape in an ageing society with a shrinking workforce, making it necessary to attract more women to perform paid labour by adapting work organisation and preparing employers in all sectors for a more diverse workforce,

N. whereas, according to recent studies, the presence of women at all levels of responsibility provides added value for companies, in particular with regard to their economic performance,

O. whereas women secure most of the university degrees in the EU and are in the majority on business, management and law courses, but remain in the minority in positions of responsibility in companies and public bodies,

P.  whereas, notably because of the sexist stereotypes that exist in education and in society, women are under-represented in fields that are wrongly considered to be ‘male’, such as information technology, engineering, physics, and technical occupations such as mechanics and bricklaying,

Q. whereas unemployment is rising among older workers, who face a particularly acute problem of social exclusion after the age of 55, and despite the progress made in the past decade only a little more than a third of women between the ages of 55 and 64 had a job in 2008, while 55% of men in that age group were in work,

Job strategy for a new sustainable economy

1.  Views sustainable development as being based on a long-term vision in which economic growth, social cohesion and environmental protection go hand in hand and are mutually supportive; draws attention to the potential represented by the creation of ‘green jobs’ in a sustainable economy;

2.  Considers the post-crisis economy to be a strong opportunity for sustainable growth based on social justice and eco-efficiency; notes that the transformation of European economies from polluting to eco-efficient economies will lead to profound changes in production, distribution and consumption, which should be used as a chance to move towards true sustainability without endangering prosperity or jobs; believes that the transition to an economy based on non-polluting energy sources needs to be seen as an opportunity for investment in sustainable development and not merely as a burden on public and private budgets;

3.  Emphasises the importance of measures to promote growth and employment in the countryside, so as to stem rural depopulation;

4.  Notes that there is a need to make production of goods and services more sustainable; notes that investments in a new sustainable economy bear potential for growth in the employment market and new income opportunities; notes that the positive balance takes losses in some sectors into account, and that re-skilling and retraining should therefore be stimulated;

5.  Is of the opinion that the current global economic and social crisis, which has slowed down changes in energy use and reductions in carbon emissions, should not deter Member States from making the transition towards a competitive, more sustainable, low-carbon, resource-efficient economy, given that this will make them more resilient, less dependent on increasingly expensive imports and more competitive;

6.  Believes that more should be done to internalise external costs; calls on the Commission to use existing policy tools – or develop new tools if necessary – to attribute costs, and to ensure that future policy proposals reflect its findings;

7.  Believes that a new sustainable economy for the EU must ensure balanced economic and social development; calls for an ambitious sustainable industrial policy, with an emphasis on resource efficiency; stresses that the green economy needs to offer prospects for decent, well-paid jobs, with the focus on the protection of the environment;

8.  Is firmly convinced that market-economy based environmental policy can become the engine of growth and employment in all branches of the economy, and stresses that predictable, investment-friendly framework conditions are the basis that will allow innovative businesses to make the best possible use of these opportunities for the benefit of the environment and of employees;

9.  Calls for industry to be involved in eco-innovation, since entrepreneurs have a very important role to play in spreading eco-innovation more widely; notes, in this regard, that informing entrepreneurs – by demonstrating new business opportunities – will be crucial to the success of a strategy aimed at developing resource-efficient economies and sustainable industries;

10. Supports the Commission's flagship initiative under the Europe 2020 strategy to make the change towards a sustainable economy now, to make economic growth less dependent on consumption of resources and energy, to reduce climate-damaging emissions and thus to act against global warming; welcomes the intention to align legal framework conditions, market economy incentive instruments, subsidies and public procurement with that objective; regrets, however, that, with the EU 2020 Strategy, the Commission misses the opportunity to address the labour market potential of a sustainable economy;

11. Notes that, in order to reach the EU 2020 strategy’s employment targets and use the job potential of a new sustainable economy and to improve the sustainability of production of goods and services, there is a need to increase the energy efficiency of housing and construction, the share of renewable energies, environment technologies, sustainable transport and mobility, sustainable agriculture, forestry and fishery and advice through environmental services, as well as recycling, low-resource production processes and closed-loop material cycles; notes that the service sector and the social economy sector also bear considerable green employment potential;

12. Stresses the importance of the public sector leading by example, adopting progressive procurement standards and providing incentives and information, especially in the areas of energy, construction of infrastructure and facilities, transport and communications, for creating jobs with rights; calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote, particularly in pre-commercial procurement, the inclusion of environmental and social standards, in addition to promoting local content clauses and enterprises operating in a sustainable and inclusive economy, especially SMEs;

13. Urges the Member States to exchange experience and best practice in the field of employment opportunities when dealing with the economic, social and environmental impact of climate change;

14. Is convinced that green sustainable jobs must not be a mere appendage, but that business and society as a whole must be sustainably organised; is aware that there is no branch of the economy that can be separated off and called ‘environmental protection’ or the ‘environment industry’, since the activity of environmental protection ties in with many traditional sectors such as the manufacturing industries, the construction industry and the service industries; calls, therefore, for the adoption, as a working definition, of the ILO’s definition, according to which all jobs which promote sustainable development are green sustainable jobs; points out that the definition includes, firstly, jobs which directly reduce consumption of energy and resources, protect ecosystems and biodiversity and minimise waste production and air pollution and, secondly, all jobs which reduce the environmental footprint; recognises that, owing to the relative nature of the definition, the job potential cannot be definitively determined;

15. Takes the view that significantly more research is needed to measure the impact of environmental and climate change policies on net employment creation; calls on the Commission to make this area a priority under the 8th Framework Programme;

16. Stresses that all jobs are committed to the objective of promoting sustainable development and that production and working methods should be organised so as to be as resource, material and energy efficient as possible; stresses that this approach should apply to the entire supply chain and that there is no sense in making a separation into good and bad industries, but all industries can be made more sustainable;

17. Considers it very important that a new Community framework have a sufficient budget to support public research and make research results accessible in a simple and unbureaucratic way so that all companies, including micro-enterprises and SMEs, can make changes with respect to energy efficiency, the use of new energy sources, new production processes and recycling and the better use of resources, and create jobs with rights;

Optimising employment potential

18. Calls for the development of a European job strategy for a sustainable economy as part of the EU 2020 strategy, aiming at optimising job potential whilst paying special attention to decent work, employees’ health and safety, skills needs and a socially just transition; stresses that a sustainable economy has to combine social, technological, economic and ecological sustainability; stresses that a sustainable employment strategy such as this should be one of the central components of the employment policy guidelines;

19. Recommends that the regional authorities adopt development strategies in line with the objectives of the EU 2020 Strategy with the aim of creating new jobs in a sustainable economy;

20. Calls on the Commission to propose, by 2011, a strategy including legislative and non-legislative measures to encourage green jobs that are a source of growth and prosperity for all;

21. Stresses that European businesses’ powers of innovation have made them into world leaders in the area of environmental protection; is concerned, however, that manufacturing activities are still being extensively relocated from the EU to third countries which have much lower environmental standards; calls on the Commission and the Member States to combat this phenomenon promptly and vigorously by working on a worldwide, multilateral approach which ensures that global competition is based on comparable requirements;

22. Underlines that a stable, long-term, ambitious regulatory framework is a prerequisite for achieving the full potential of green employment; calls on the Commission and Member States to determine environmental standards and financial incentives creating reliable framework conditions for at least 10 years, and thereby creating legal and planning certainty; demands that existing financial instruments should be used to promote sustainability and that increasing sustainability of economic activity and production should be inserted into the financial perspective of various funds, including the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund, as one of the promoted objectives;

23. Stresses, in this connection, the importance of the concept of integrated urban development and that a sustainable redevelopment of disadvantaged urban areas could assume a beacon role; considers that a prerequisite for this is a clear policy framework, including maintenance of the promotion of the urban dimension in the Structural Funds;

24. Notes the need for funding within existing programmes to carry out targeted studies in the most disadvantaged regions of the EU, so as to set strategic objectives and determine the type of measures required to establish favourable conditions for the development of sustainable local economies, with the specific objectives of creating new green jobs and integrated measures to attract new green companies and support those which already exist;

25. Stresses that targeted investment for the ecological transformation of the EU's disadvantaged regions is one of the most useful instruments for achieving the strategic objectives of regional convergence and territorial cohesion;

26. Stresses the importance of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for regional clustering by bringing together research, innovation and infrastructure locally in the context of new technologies, such as renewable energy and energy efficiency; further underlines that, especially in urban areas, regional and local authorities are the best positioned and most capable of creating the conditions necessary for the growth of clusters of innovative enterprises; points out that such clustering can act as a decisive spur to local economic development and can create new jobs in the regions;

27. Is aware of the fact that EU, national and regional funding schemes remain highly uncoordinated, and therefore underlines the need for better multilevel coordination between the programmes and support for more synergy between different common policies using structural, agricultural and rural development funds, the research framework programme and the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) to be devised to achieve a sustainable, resource-efficient economy; believes, as regards funding under the Common Agricultural Policy, that further consideration should be given to a greater shift from direct support mechanisms to rural development and the development of environmentally sustainable agriculture;

28. Calls again upon the Commission and Member States to capitalise on the success of the Reconstruction Fund and to set up a new Community initiative, including pilot projects, for reconstruction towards a new sustainable economy;

29. Notes that paragraph 8 of the Council conclusions of 21 October 2009 invites the Commission to undertake an urgent sector-by-sector review of subsidies which have an adverse environmental impact and are incompatible with sustainable development; calls on the Commission to act on those conclusions immediately, examining means of redeploying those subsidies within the budget in support of new activities related to the sustainable economy;

30. Calls for efficient funding systems and fiscal incentives to help SMEs steer towards green employment policies and ensure green innovations and production;

31. Takes the view that existing and proposed EU environmental legislation has significant potential to create new jobs in areas such as air, soil, water, energy, public services, agriculture, transport, forestry, and environmental management; calls on the Member States to implement EU legislation which could lead to new investment in eco-friendly technologies and jobs;

32. Recalls that public procurement constitutes a large share of the market and could provide significant incentives for greening the economy; calls, therefore, for all public procurement to require high environmental standards;

33. Calls on the EU and the Member States to anticipate change, i.e. to overcome information failures and uncertainties and foster awareness, social learning processes and changes in consumption patterns; states that incentives are needed for companies to invest more in clean technologies and that workers are more willing to face change if the changes lead to more employment opportunities and a safety net is provided for employees;

34. Stresses that the need to develop the potential for quality jobs offered by a new sustainable economy means that innovation must be targeted on finding solutions to the major challenges facing society, including unemployment and poverty, climate change, the ageing of the population and scarcity of resources; draws attention to the relevance of industrial and research policies based on open innovation and clusters, in order to promote the pooling of knowledge by the different public and private economic operators and to stimulate innovation; to this end, calls on the Commission to develop a European Technology Platform for resource-light industries;

35. Recommends that, if a Member State decides to subsidise, for example, the increase of wind, bio- or solar energy production, the level of subsidies be based on scientific evaluation of empirical data and that the subsidies provide reasonable investment perspectives and security to possible investors and calls for careful consideration of factors such as the increase in net jobs created through subsidies, price of energy, net influence on emissions of green house gases and other pollutants, and thus aim to optimise the increase of sustainability;

36. Notes that there is no uniform understanding which technological choices are environmentally, economically or socially most sustainable in the global competitive situation; notes that many variables have to be taken into account when comparing, for example, the sustainability of the production of energy using windmills, solar PV-panels, burning coal with carbon capture and storage, nuclear reactors or some other technologies; therefore calls for more scientific study on the subject comparing whole life-cycles of production and calls for all production processes to be made more resource-efficient;

Job potential for women and men in the new sustainable economy

37. Underlines that only by raising female participation in the European labour market can we fully utilise the growth potential and job potential in the new economy, since narrowing the gap between male and female employment rates has accounted for half the increase in Europe’s overall employment rate and a quarter of annual economic growth since 1995, and since this is a prerequisite for ensuring sustainable growth and meeting the demands of the ecological transformation in an ageing society;

38. Calls for an EU initiative to raise awareness among employers, especially in traditionally male-dominated sectors, of the need for, and benefits of, a more diverse workforce in an ageing society and to offer them tools with which to prepare for more diversity;

39. Calls on the EU, the Member States and the social partners to fight discrimination and promote gender equality in a sustainable economy, create work environments that attract and retain women in these sectors, promote work-life balance through adequate, high-quality childcare and adaptable family-friendly workplace arrangements, create opportunities as well as conditions under which both men and women can participate in the labour market on equal terms, promote female participation in male-dominated representative bodies, reduce gender-based job segmentation and wage gaps;

40. Points out that investment in social infrastructure provides an opportunity to modernise Europe and promote equality, and can be seen as a parallel strategy to modernisation of the physical infrastructure through investment in green technologies; considers that gender equality should therefore be a policy priority and an essential tool;

41. Underlines that a targeted effort to ensure women’s access to education at all levels by combating sexist stereotypes, and to provide life-long-learning, is essential in order to break down gender segregation in the labour market; calls for the provision of adequate training in order to prevent the under-representation of female workers in green jobs, bearing in mind that a massive opt-out by women from science and technology would impede Europe’s growth and sustainability and leave many talented and qualified young women on the margins of employment and economic certainty;

42. Calls for a specific EU initiative to attract girls to the MINT professions (mathematics, informatics, natural sciences and technology) and to combat the stereotypes that still dominate these professions; stresses that the role of the media and education is key in combating such stereotypes;

43. Stresses that young women, in the transition between school and work, should be guided towards apprenticeships, in which they are under-represented, this being promoted by means of joint planning between schools, universities and training agencies and/or firms, so that they acquire specific skills and capabilities – also at advanced and specialist levels – through work experience and by working on a regular, rather than a precarious, basis, and with the prospect of fulfilment;

44. Calls on the EU and the Member States to give higher priority to green jobs for women in the context of European Social Fund (ESF) programmes, taking into account of the fact that the ESF finances training projects in areas such as renewable energy and ecotourism; emphasises that greater efforts are needed to increase the rate of female participation in EFS-supported projects, which is currently below 10%; calls for the introduction of gender budgeting in the ESF as well as in recovery plans and structural adjustment programmes to ensure that such programmes attract and integrate women equally;

45. Stresses that the transition to a new economy should not be used as a pretext for cutting various equal opportunities measures but should instead be regarded as a unique opportunity to improve women's participation in the EU labour market because this is a precondition for ensuring sustainable growth, the optimum development of job potential and strengthening competitiveness;

Decent work

46. Calls on the Commission, over and above the job potential for highly qualified employees, to pay special attention to the many jobs in the middle and lower qualification bands in the sustainable economy, as well as unskilled but specialized workers; calls on the Commission and the Member States to take particular account of this fact in the Employment Policy Guidelines; calls on the Member States to enhance the status of jobs in the middle and lower training bands and to ensure Decent Work in those jobs;

47. Stresses the need to pay special attention to decent work, skills needs and a socially just transition; calls on the Commission, the Member States and the social partners to ensure that an employment strategy for a sustainable economy benefits everyone across the EU; stresses the need to mainstream this strategy in all types of employment, be they high-, medium- or low-skilled; calls to increase education and research and development opportunities; calls, furthermore, for attention to be focused in the employment policy guidelines and the Commission’s ‘New Skills for New Jobs’ programme, particularly on people furthest from the labour market, the most vulnerable, especially disabled people and low-skilled workers, as well as on protecting these people;

48. Takes the view that employment policy plays a central role in combating poverty and social exclusion, and consequently calls, in line with the ILO ‘Decent Work’ programme, for qualitatively good working conditions and remuneration that not only provides a decent living, but also guarantees an appropriate share of GDP;

49. Notes that, owing to the often lower level of organisation of employees and of employers in some new sectors, there is a risk of precarious employment relationships and poor working conditions; calls on the EU and Member States to create framework conditions for establishing representative bodies in new sectors; calls on the social partners to organise themselves and invites the Commission to promote EU-wide exchange of best practice examples, in particular on strengthening of information and consultation of workers and the establishment of European Works Councils;

50. Notes that further efforts need to be undertaken in order to ensure the effective EU harmonisation of minimum requirements for the organisation of working time connected with workers’ health and safety;

51. Calls on the Member States, in cooperation with the social partners, to draw up integrated plans for evaluating ecological transformation operations at both local and national levels; calls on the social partners to monitor employees' participation in the sustainable development strategy, proposing and then adopting policies to reinforce effective participation with regard to sustainable mobility for workers and green growth;

52. Calls on the social partners to embrace new sectors and develop strategies to include sector associations in the social partnership;

53. Calls on the EU and Member States to link public subsidies, as well as public procurement, more closely to minimum social standards at Member State level and to advance the creation of representative bodies of the social partners;

54. Points out that training and lifelong learning for employees affected by changes in a company's or industry's production processes also creates new jobs; calls on the EU to develop a framework for anticipating change and restructuring, in particular of production, providing the right for all affected workers to take part in training and lifelong learning schemes; calls on the Member States, employers and employees to recognise skills management, training and lifelong learning as a shared responsibility, as acknowledged in the social partners’ 2002 framework agreement on lifelong learning; calls on the Commission to incorporate a ninth key competence relating to the environment, climate change and sustainable development – which is essential in a knowledge society – into the framework for lifelong learning; calls on the Member States to incorporate the concept of sustainability into basic training, education and lifelong learning;

55. Calls on the Commission, the Member States and the social partners to step up their efforts to deal effectively with the adverse effects of restructuring, both in the local economy and in employment. Underlines the need for the dissemination of guidelines on managing change and its social consequences;

Facing skills needs

56. Points out that the Member States must adapt their training and education systems and devise and implement targeted action plans for retraining workers in sectors which will be affected by the transformation of local economies towards a new sustainable economy, to ensure that they have access to new green sustainable jobs, to ensure that the workforce can adjust their skills to the labour-market needs of a more sustainable economy founded on competence-based training concepts; welcomes, in this context, the Commission’s ‘New Skills for New Jobs’ initiative and acknowledges cooperation with the EU Member States as a step in the right direction; points out, however, that this initiative must be more closely linked to the objectives of the Council Decision on sustainable development and taken further with tangible measures both at EU level and in the EU Member States;

57. Underlines the need to reinforce the open method of cooperation and exchanges of best practice with regard to sustainable development, green jobs and lifelong learning, so as to ensure successful and effective management of the economy's transformation and, by extension, of the new training needs and adverse social consequences resulting from this kind of transition;

58. Calls on the Member States to combat discrimination on grounds of age and adapt the training offer and lifelong learning strategies to the requirements of older employees, in order to ensure high participation rates for workers over 55 years of age as well, including women over 55;

59. Calls on the EU and Member States to adopt detailed policies on innovation and creativity, in particular on education and training, including vocational education and training, as a basis for a green economy, competitiveness and prosperity;

60. Notes that in times of crisis, it essential to attract young people to the new type of green jobs and to ensure that skill programmes promote the access of young people to the labour-market, so that young people can profit from the job potential, to combat high unemployment among citizens under 25 years of age and in order to capitalise on the young generation's skills in using new technologies; regrets the fact that the EU 2020 flagship initiative "Youth on the move" excludes young people who are not involved in higher education; stresses that, in order to make a real change, it needs to focus on the young people that have now the least opportunities and are at risk of poverty;

61. Calls on the Member States to devise, in cooperation with the social partners, and implement vocational guidance programmes for young people in science and technology disciplines to promote the development of a viable and sustainable economy, and information and awareness-raising measures in relation to ecological and environmental issues, both through the formal education system and in the framework of measures by local and regional authorities;

62. Calls on the Commission to work more closely with the Member States in order to draw up medium- and long-term forecasts regarding the skills required by the employment market and to encourage partnerships between universities and the business sector in order to foster the transition of young people to the employment market while helping to create a knowledge-based society, develop applied research and create better employment-market prospects for graduates;

63. Calls on the Member States as well as social partners to establish targets to achieve equal participation of women and men, to provide equal opportunities to education, training, targeted recruitment schemes, specialised apprenticeships and training initiatives for women, migrants, the long-term unemployed and other groups discriminated against by the employment market;

64. Encourages the Member States to use the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund to implement European objectives, to promote new skills, including for new sustainable 'green' high-quality jobs;

65. Calls on the responsible stakeholders to monitor employment with a view to making basic vocational training and lifelong learning more relevant; calls in this context on the Member States to assess the feasibility of Transition Funds to manage skills needs;

66. Calls on the EU and the Member States to make promotion of adaptability to a sustainable economy one of the objectives of the European Social Fund, in order to contribute to increasing sustainability of economic activities and infrastructure development;

67. Recalls that the sustainable dimension should not be restricted to training in environment-related jobs, but needs to be incorporated into all education and training programmes in order to promote a culture of sustainable development and environmental awareness;

68. Highlights the added value of life-long learning and calls on the Member States to conduct a thorough mapping of local potential in order to organise demand-driven training that matches available resources to actual needs and to re-establish the prestige of vocational secondary education by providing high-standard education, particularly in regions where local potential and traditional work areas require special skills and knowledge to be fully developed; calls on the Commission to provide the Member States with sufficient technical support on how to map local needs and notes that high-standard vocational secondary schools could help reduce graduate unemployment and lead to sustainable employment;

69. Stresses the importance of Member States using the European Social Fund to invest in skills, employment, training and retraining activities with a view to creating more and better jobs through national, regional and local projects; believes that the professional experience of older people may also make a contribution to these initiatives, bearing in mind the growing proportion of older people in the EU population; recommends that regional and local authorities should have appropriate, permanent contacts with the business environment, employers’ organisations, trade unions and NGOs with a view to projecting the needs of the labour market in the medium and long term;

70. Recognises the important role of local and regional authorities in education, which forms the basis for the acquisition of further, future-oriented skills, including through lifelong learning and retraining; points out that the general conditions governing education and the further training of young people, including school leavers with no qualifications, in many countries are the responsibility of the regional and local authorities; therefore encourages the regions to use the Structural Funds for educational infrastructure, especially in disadvantaged urban areas and regions and to make comprehensive and inclusive school education possible using this support; points to the significant (educational and training) potential offered by networking between local and regional authorities and firms and associations, in terms of creating sustainable jobs in the fields of local transport, urban mobility, education, and research and development, and placing emphasis on equal opportunities;

71. Notes the need for cooperation between the Member States, the social partners and tertiary education providers with a view to setting up undergraduate and postgraduate courses and to creating subject areas geared towards the ecological transformation of economies;

72. Believes that the demographic challenges require a broader strategy combining job creation and meeting new and emerging needs on the European labour market; considers that, in this respect, further progress must be made in improving the mobility of EU workers, including researchers and other professionals, with a view to achieving a Europe without barriers within the EU internal market;

Socially fair change

73. Notes that increasing sustainability of economic activities may involve changes in whole industrial sectors; calls on the EU and the Member States to take care to avoid social sacrifices in moving to a sustainable economy and to work towards framework conditions for a socially fair transformation which minimises the risks of change and optimises gains for all employees; emphasises that socially just transformation is a basic component of sustainable development and an essential prerequisite if people in Europe are to give transformation their support;

74. Stresses that the consequential costs of a lack of transformation management may be many times higher than anticipatory investments; calls on the Commission, the Member States and the social partners to confront the responsibilities of preventive transformation management together;

75. Underlines the need to integrate the sustainable economy in the framework of corporate and social environmental liability and the possibility of promoting a culture of sustainable development and a sustainable economy through training programmes in the context of corporate social responsibility;

76. Recalls that creating the necessary conditions for workers to undertake further training and adapt to new technologies, in order to prevent job losses, and the promotion of and support for collective agreements to anticipate change and avoid unemployment, together with the strengthening of social security, income support systems and proactive sectoral training initiatives, are crucial prevention measures;

77. Calls on the Commission to provide EU-level support for research into the careers of the future so as to prevent redundancies and retain jobs in the European Union;

78. Underlines the need for close and effective cooperation and complementarity between international organisations, and calls on the World Trade Organisation to take action concerning the social and environmental dimensions of investment and trade;

79. Recognises that NGOs and trade unions have an important role to play in developing green job potential, in terms of contributing to the decision-making process, as employers and in raising public awareness;

80. Points out that those organisations that invest in eco-efficient practices will help create a better working environment for staff and employees, and may consequently be more productive; calls on the Member States to promote the European Eco-Management & Audit Scheme (EMAS) and to encourage all economic sectors to strive to achieve EMAS registration; calls on the Commission, the Member States and the social partners to include essential environmental issues in the social dialogue, at all levels of consultation, with emphasis on sectoral negotiations; emphasises that, in order for transition to be socially just, workers should have a participative partnership role to play in the process; calls for the involvement of employees' representatives in charge of greening the workplace, as defined by the ILO, according to national practices in order to make workplaces, companies and industries more sustainable; calls on the Member States and the social partners to cooperate in a structured manner with environmental stakeholders and experts, to make use of their advice in managing transition;

81. Calls on the Member States and the social partners to cooperate in a structured manner with environmental stakeholders, including NGOs, in managing transition;

82. Calls on the EU, with the assistance of the social partners, to begin a systematic dialogue in its external relations, with a view to a similar approach to sustainable development in other parts of the world, so as to secure the same development conditions and ensure that industrial competitiveness is not at risk; considers that ensuring fair competition in sustainable manufacturing sectors will have a beneficial effect in terms of improving protection and working conditions for workers;

83. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to launch information and public awareness campaigns on developing green jobs in a sustainable economy;

84. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission, and to the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States.

(1)

OJ L 39, 13.2.2008, p. 1.

(2)

OJ L 153, 18.6.2010, p. 13.

(3)

OJ L 140, 5.6.2009, p. 16.

(4)

Texts adopted, P7_TA-PROV(2010)0154.

(5)

CNS ST16818/09, 1.12.2009.

(6)

Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0123.

(7)

Commission staff working paper entitled ‘Regions 2020 – An Assessment of Future Challenges for EU Regions’, November 2008, available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/docoffic/working/regions2020/pdf/regions2020_en.pdf.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

The EU’s commitment to sustainability

In December 2009, in its conclusions on the renewed EU Sustainable Development Strategy(1), the European Council defined development as sustainable if it takes the needs of the current generation into account in such a way that the capability of future generations to satisfy their needs is not endangered. The conclusions name seven key challenges: climate change and clean energy, sustainable transport, sustainable consumption and production, conservation and management of resources, public health, social inclusion, demography and migration and global poverty. The guiding principles of the strategy are the combined consideration of economic, social and ecological interests, more intense social dialogue, greater social responsibility for companies and the precaution and polluter pays principles. Furthermore, the Council conclusions provide for investments in human, social and environmental capital, technological innovation and new ecological services, with the long-term aim of creating the conditions for competitiveness, wealth, social cohesion, high quality jobs and better environmental protection.

In 2009, the Council also confirmed the EU’s commitment to participate decisively in the international fight against increasing global warming. In its decisions, the EU committed itself to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% by 2020, compared with 1990 emissions, and to cover 20% of its energy needs with renewable energies by 2020. According to an IPCC study, global warming can only be reduced to 2°C if industrialised countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 80-90% of the 1990 level by 2050(2). For the European Union, this means that efforts on renewable energies and energy efficiency should be considerably accelerated.

What are green jobs?

The Council definition of sustainable development already shows that almost all relevant industry and service sectors are affected. Therefore, this report follows the comprehensive ILO definition of green jobs(3). Green jobs are not restricted to employment sectors which are directly connected with environmental protection. In fact, a job is green if it contributes to change towards sustainable management, helps save energy, uses renewable energy, preserves natural resources, sustains and restores biological diversity and avoids waste and air pollution.

On the basis of this definition, I do not share the Commission's view that green jobs are found particularly in cutting-edge technology, but, rather, share the ILO's conclusions that all qualification bands are decisively affected by a change towards more sustainability, which leads to a different analysis of vocational education and training requirements and of the need for ecological education in general.

Optimising employment potential

The positive side effect of the expansion and the promotion of the renewable energies and energy efficiency sector is enormous. The Greenpeace study(4) estimates the global job potential of the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector at over 8 million.

Experiences in Germany confirm these forecasts and clearly show that strong expansion of the renewable energy sector has a direct effect on jobs. In Germany, 250 000 new jobs were created on the basis of the Renewable Energy Act. Germany thus has a pioneering role by international comparison. Including indirect effects on employment, the Act has ensured regular job increases since it entered into force in 2000. Forecasts reckon that there will be 400 000 more employees by 2020. The fact that the increases in employment in new sustainable sectors such as renewable energy in Germany are also stabilised by increasing exports was not taken into account in the Commission’s net calculation models in its study(5) on employment in Europe in 2009. The Commission determines the net increase figures on the basis of the EU internal market alone and forgets the EU’s potential of assuming a global pioneering role in the change towards a sustainable economy.

However, the success of the German example essentially depends on the long-term and dependable framework conditions which the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), the law on Energy Performance Certificates and state funded loan programmes have been giving investors. Without these clear political and financial decisions, the job market potential cannot be developed.

Other EU countries are now following the German example. The EU should therefore include the commitment to reliable framework conditions in the Europe 2020 strategy and make legislative initiatives soon. Within their area of competency, the Member States should follow quickly. This also means that the change towards a sustainable economy should be established as a key objective for all EU funding award procedures, and for the structural funds in particular. In the next ten years, we need to systematically initiate the necessary investments.

The real job potential of new sustainable development is difficult to measure and the studies mentioned in the preamble to this report are accordingly vague regarding precise figures and partly contradict each other. The calculations diverge too much, dependent on the framework conditions. This is shown by the example of the transport sector.

The UNEP study(6) investigates the shift in urban mobility from individual motor transport towards efficient local public transport systems and gives a multiplication figure for the employment potential of 2.5 to 4.1. However, using the scenario of the Commission’s current funding, the local public transport sector comes under enormous pressure. Whilst huge funds are available for research and industry to develop electric cars, the local public transport sector and vehicles are excluded from funding programmes. In urban areas, both kinds of mobility are in direct competition with each other. The possible employment potential of sustainable mobility could only really be developed if it were opened up by political framework conditions and financial decisions. The potential of bicycle transport related retail and service is similar to that of public transport. In their ecological ranking, both forms of transport are preferable to the electric car.

A new sustainable economy for a social and inclusive Europe

The change towards a sustainable economy is not only an ecological necessity, but should also be part of our strategy for a social Europe. Successful change essentially depends on acceptance by Europeans, and this acceptance can only be achieved if we can show that our strategies for the change towards a sustainable economy are socially just and lead, in the long term, to higher employment, better working conditions and increased social security. The objective of a new sustainable economy should be social and ecological sustainability, and socially fair transformation management is the corner stone of this strategy.

Good work

The issue of job quality is particularly relevant. In the lower qualification band, precarious employment contracts are on the increase. On the basis of the European Council’s comprehensive definition of sustainable development, I believe that the report’s aim is not to consider green job potential merely numerically, but I have also explored the issue of ensuring good working conditions for green jobs and the question of how the change towards a sustainable economy can be implemented in a socially fair manner.

During the research for this report, it soon became clear that working conditions are a key issue in new industries. Both employees in the solar industry, in eastern Germany for example, and representatives of the wind power industry criticise the high pressure for productivity, which, together with the pressure from international competition, leads to low wages and bad working conditions. Under these conditions, it is very difficult to convince employees to change industry, for example from the coal industry, which has over the years obtained good working conditions and social protection. In discussions with employers' associations and trade unions, it becomes clear that the main problem in these new sectors is the absence of representative bodies on both sides. There are first projects aiming to promote the creation of such bodies, and my report clearly supports these endeavours.

Qualification requirements

Socially fair change also means addressing the issue of people’s education and training. Firstly, this means ensuring that the job potential of the green economy can actually be used. Only if sufficiently well educated/trained employees are available can the growth potential in certain sectors be fulfilled. Secondly, it should be ensured that change bears opportunities for all – young and old people, women, insiders and outsiders on the job market. Today, we do not know yet for certain what qualifications will be needed to what extent. However, it is clear that we should anticipate by orientating the education and training offer and life-long learning strategies towards sustainability. Custom-made programmes will be necessary to ensure that also, for example, a female worker who has worked for 30 years in the coal industry has the opportunity to change. In order to successfully manage the considerable need for new qualifications, retraining and further training, it should be analysed which employee and jobseeker groups need particular support, and the relevant measures should be planned.

Socially fair change

Change requires a high level of flexibility, and even mobility in some cases. The frequently quoted Danish example shows that people perceive a high level of flexibility on the job market as an opportunity and not as a threat if social security is provided by state systems and strong social partnerships and if anticipatory qualification management offers perspectives. It is a requirement for successful change towards a sustainable economy that, in the required phases of change, workers should be safeguarded by social security.

(1)

Conclusions of the European Council of 10/11 December 2009

(2)

IPCC: Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Core Writing Team, Pachauri, R.K. and Reisinger, A. (Eds.), IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland.

(3)

ILO Background Note entitled 'Global Challenges for Sustainable Development: Strategies for Green Jobs', G8 Labour and Employment Ministers Conference, Niigata, Japan, 11 to 13 May 2008.

(4)

Greenpeace and European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) report entitled 'Working for the climate: renewable energy and the green job revolution' of 2009,

(5)

European Commission 'Employment in Europe 2009'.

(6)

UNEP, ILO, IOE and ITUC Green Jobs Initiative entitled 'Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World' of 2008.


OPINION of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (25.6.2010)

for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

on developing the job potential of a new sustainable economy

(2010/2010(INI))

Rapporteur: Edward Scicluna

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs calls on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Is of the opinion that the current global economic and social crisis, which has slowed down changes in energy use and reductions in carbon emissions, should not deter Member States from making the transition towards a competitive, more sustainable, low-carbon, resource-efficient economy, given that this will make them more resilient, less dependent on increasingly expensive imports and more competitive;

2.  Maintains that a European employment strategy has to give consideration to the economic effects of climate change on European labour markets, economic activities designed to adapt to such changes, and other activities resulting from policy changes aimed at alleviating climate change;

3.  Stresses that an eco-efficient economy and green jobs can be promoted by shifting the tax burden from labour and enterprises towards non-renewable energy resources, and that this will also avoid negative environmental impacts;

4.  Points out that the Commission should take advantage of the preparations for the next multiannual financial framework to promote a sustainable job market by placing special emphasis on green jobs;

5.  Asks Eurostat, the OECD and all the Member States’ statistical agencies to consider restructuring the statistical classification of economic activities to reflect better the new environmental industries, which are currently hidden because they are incorporated into the conventional industrial classification, by introducing a separate NACE code;

6.  Notes that, according to the OECD, the environmental goods and services sector has the potential to provide jobs for a wide range of skills and abilities, including low-skilled workers, and calls on the Commission to pay special attention to this vulnerable group;

7.  Takes the view that, given demographic trends, there is great potential for developing sustainable jobs in the area of social and healthcare services, which should be tapped in the interests of an effective employment policy;

8.  Takes the view that employment policy plays a central role in combating poverty and social exclusion, and consequently calls, in line with the ILO ‘Decent Work’ programme, for qualitatively good working conditions and remuneration that not only provides a decent living, but also guarantees an appropriate share of GDP;

9.  Stresses that the transition to a green economy will require adequate training and educational programmes, and that in some cases universities need to consider offering entirely new fields of study and majors, and encourages the Member States, as a matter of urgency, to address the skill gap that already exists between available workers and the needs of green industries;

10. Calls for efficient funding systems and fiscal incentives to help SMEs steer towards green employment policies and ensure green innovations and production;

11. Calls for industry to be involved in eco-innovation, since entrepreneurs have a very important role to play in spreading eco-innovation more widely; notes, in this regard, that informing entrepreneurs – by demonstrating new business opportunities – will be crucial to the success of a strategy aimed at developing resource-efficient economies and sustainable industries;

12. Maintains that, in view of the accelerated restructuring anticipated in response to both the global crisis and climate change, the Member States should be required to prepare a framework which spells out clearly how governments, employers and employees are expected to adapt;

13. Takes the view, while agreeing that a European employment strategy should define ‘green jobs’ as broadly as possible, that distinctions should be made between pollution control, recycling, waste management, water resource management, water treatment activities, nature conservation, the production of environmental technologies, the production of renewable energy and related equipment, and environmental R&D;

14. Expresses its concern over the lack of labour mobility in the EU’s internal market; points out that there are still restrictions on the free movement of labour from the new Member States, and that the portability of social rights is limited;

15. Expresses its concern over the long-term job insecurity that has developed in the EU labour market over the last two decades, with young people especially tending increasingly to work on short-term contracts with poorer working conditions; takes the view that new jobs created under these circumstances cannot be regarded as sustainable; feels that these structural deficiencies need to be addressed in the context of seeking to develop the job potential of a new sustainable economy.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

22.6.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

41

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Burkhard Balz, Sharon Bowles, Udo Bullmann, Pascal Canfin, Nikolaos Chountis, George Sabin Cutaş, Leonardo Domenici, Diogo Feio, Elisa Ferreira, Vicky Ford, José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil, Jean-Paul Gauzès, Sven Giegold, Sylvie Goulard, Enikő Győri, Liem Hoang Ngoc, Othmar Karas, Wolf Klinz, Jürgen Klute, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Astrid Lulling, Hans-Peter Martin, Arlene McCarthy, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, Sławomir Witold Nitras, Ivari Padar, Alfredo Pallone, Anni Podimata, Antolín Sánchez Presedo, Olle Schmidt, Edward Scicluna, Peter Simon, Theodor Dumitru Stolojan, Ivo Strejček, Kay Swinburne, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Corien Wortmann-Kool

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Elena Băsescu, David Casa, Iliana Ivanova, Syed Kamall, Philippe Lamberts


OPINION Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (8.6.2010)

for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

on developing the job potential of a new sustainable economy

(2010/2010(INI))

Rapporteur: Rovana Plumb

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety calls on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Considers the post-crisis economy to be a strong opportunity for sustainable growth based on social justice and eco-efficiency; notes that the transformation of European economies from polluting to eco-efficient economies will lead to profound changes in production, distribution and consumption, which should be used as a chance to move towards true sustainability without endangering prosperity or jobs; believes that the transition to an economy based on non-polluting energy sources needs to be seen as an opportunity for investment in sustainable development and not merely as a burden on public and private budgets;

2.  Calls on the Commission to develop statistical tools for evaluating the net balance of jobs created by the ‘green economy’;

3.  Views sustainable development as being based on a long-term vision in which economic growth, social cohesion and environmental protection go hand in hand and are mutually supportive; draws attention to the potential represented by the creation of ‘green jobs’ in a sustainable economy, and supports the ILO’s definition of ‘green jobs’ as being all jobs that foster sustainable development; stresses, nonetheless, that all jobs in ‘green sectors’ must be accompanied by proper working conditions;

4.  Notes that the number of ‘green jobs’ in Europe was estimated in 2009 at 3.4 million;

5.  Underlines the need to tackle climate change urgently in order to limit warming to 2°C compared with preindustrial levels; takes the view that the 20% reduction target for 2020 currently being implemented is not in line with the overall objective, and looks forward to the proposal to move to a reduction target of at least 30% as soon as possible; consequently urges the Commission to develop specific policies to ensure the transition towards a green economy, especially as regards worker re-skilling for green jobs and assistance for greening European industry in the context of global markets, as well as encouraging the private sector to invest in low-emissions technologies that are favourable to innovation and job creation;

6.  Underlines that a stable, long-term, ambitious regulatory framework is a prerequisite for achieving the full potential of green employment; takes the view that, in order to achieve the EU 2020 strategy’s employment targets for green jobs, concrete and legally binding measures designed to achieve an absolute reduction in natural resource use, along with other environmental targets, are necessary;

7.  Takes the view that existing and proposed EU environmental legislation has significant potential to create new jobs in areas such as air, soil, water, energy, public services, agriculture, transport, forestry, and environmental management; calls on the Member States to implement EU legislation which could lead to new investment in eco-friendly technologies and jobs;

8.   Points out that requiring environmentally friendly farming practices would significantly increase employment and income in the agricultural sector;

9.   Stresses the need to emphasise biodiversity in the context of creating ‘green jobs’ Europe-wide, especially in the implementation of the Natura 2000 networks; points out that eco-tourism is a vanguard sector in terms of green job creation, exhibiting a growth rate in the region of 20% per annum; also favours emphasis on the potential of jobs arising from leisure activities linked to nature;

10. Underlines that subsidies for greening the urban transport sector would benefit employment if invested in public transport;

11. Encourages the Commission to provide its definition of a ‘green job’; further encourages the Commission to prioritise green jobs in the development of policies on renewable energies, energy efficiency, waste management and recycling, and building refurbishment;

12. Calls on the Commission to propose, by 2011, a strategy including legislative and non-legislative measures to encourage green jobs that are a source of growth and prosperity for all; calls on the Commission and the Member States to integrate policies aimed at re-skilling and retraining workers for green jobs with all other EU policies; stresses the need to mainstream this strategy in all types of employment, be they high-, medium- or low-skilled;

13. Notes that paragraph 8 of the Council conclusions of 21 October 2009 invites the Commission to undertake an urgent sector-by-sector review of subsidies which have an adverse environmental impact and are incompatible with sustainable development; calls on the Commission to act on those conclusions immediately, examining means of redeploying those subsidies within the budget in support of new activities related to the sustainable economy;

14. Calls on the Commission to incorporate a ninth key competence relating to the environment, climate change and sustainable development – which is essential in a knowledge society – into the framework for lifelong learning;

15. Calls on the Member States to adapt education and training systems to the needs of a new sustainable economy;

16. Believes that, when it comes to citizens’ welfare, the environment and social policy go hand in hand at local, regional, national and European level; points out that those organisations that invest in eco-efficient practices will help create a better working environment for staff and employees, and may consequently be more productive; calls on the Member States to promote the European Eco-Management & Audit Scheme (EMAS) and to encourage all economic sectors to strive to achieve EMAS registration;

17. Recalls that public procurement constitutes a large share of the market and could provide significant incentives for greening the economy; calls, therefore, for all public procurement to require high environmental standards;

18. Is convinced that the introduction of resource-efficient, green technology will not suffice to achieve sustainable development as long as productivity increases are exchanged for increased income; takes the view, furthermore, that channelling productivity gains towards more leisure time and shorter working days, instead of higher wages and ever-rising consumption, would make sense from an environmental perspective;

19. Urges the Member States to exchange experience and best practice in the field of employment opportunities when dealing with the economic, social and environmental impact of climate change;

20. Takes the view that significantly more research is needed to measure the impact of environmental and climate change policies on net employment creation; calls on the Commission to make this area a priority under the 8th Framework Programme;

21. Believes that more should be done to internalise external costs; calls on the Commission to use existing policy tools – or develop new tools if necessary – to attribute costs, and to ensure that future policy proposals reflect its findings;

22. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to launch information and public awareness campaigns on developing green jobs in a sustainable economy;

23. Recognises that NGOs and trade unions have an important role to play in developing green job potential, in terms of contributing to the decision-making process, as employers and in raising public awareness;

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

2.6.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

53

1

1

Members present for the final vote

János Áder, Elena Oana Antonescu, Kriton Arsenis, Pilar Ayuso, Paolo Bartolozzi, Sandrine Bélier, Martin Callanan, Nessa Childers, Chris Davies, Bairbre de Brún, Esther de Lange, Anne Delvaux, Bas Eickhout, Edite Estrela, Jill Evans, Elisabetta Gardini, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Julie Girling, Françoise Grossetête, Dan Jørgensen, Karin Kadenbach, Christa Klaß, Jo Leinen, Corinne Lepage, Peter Liese, Linda McAvan, Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, Vladko Todorov Panayotov, Gilles Pargneaux, Antonyia Parvanova, Andres Perello Rodriguez, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Mario Pirillo, Pavel Poc, Vittorio Prodi, Frédérique Ries, Oreste Rossi, Daciana Octavia Sârbu, Carl Schlyter, Horst Schnellhardt, Theodoros Skylakakis, Bogusław Sonik, Catherine Soullie, Salvatore Tatarella, Anja Weisgerber, Glenis Willmott, Sabine Wils, Marina Yannakoudakis

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Christofer Fjellner, Gaston Franco, Mairead McGuinness, Rovana Plumb, Bart Staes, Kathleen Van Brempt, Anna Záborská


OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (24.6.2010)

for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

on developing the job potential of a new sustainable economy

(2010/2010(INI))

Rapporteur: Ilda Figueiredo

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy calls on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

–   having regard to the Commission Communication of 14 December 2007 on pre-commercial procurement (COM(2007) 799),

–   having regard to Directive 2010/31/EU(1) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings (recast version),

–   having regard to the Council Conclusions of 22 and 23 November 2007 on scientific information in the digital age: access, dissemination and preservation,

A. whereas the economic and financial crisis has seriously affected national public budgets,

B.  whereas figures in the Green Paper on Demographic Change (COM(2005) 94) show that the working age population of the EU will fall by 20.8 million (6.8%) between 2005 and 2030 and whereas the number of people aged over 60 is now increasing twice as fast as it did before 2007 – by about two million every year compared to one million previously,

1.  Believes that a new sustainable economy for the EU must ensure balanced economic and social development; calls for an ambitious sustainable industrial policy, with an emphasis on resource efficiency; stresses that the green economy needs to offer prospects for decent, well-paid jobs, with the focus on the protection of the environment;

2.  Considers it vital to implement ambitious, credible, predictable and stable policies – particularly on energy and climate; thus calls on the Commission and Member States to mobilise resources towards the dual goals of tackling climate change and generating jobs and sustainable growth, all the while living up to the principles of sound budgetary management; underlines therefore the importance of making the European objective of a 20% reduction in energy consumption by 2020 binding, and reiterates its support for the Council’s commitment to an 80-95% reduction in European greenhouse gas emissions by 2050;

3.  Considers that it has, however, been overlooked that the EU Member States face a number of common challenges where only common European initiatives make sense;

4.  Stresses that the need to develop the potential for quality jobs offered by a new sustainable economy means that innovation must be targeted on finding solutions to the major challenges facing society, including unemployment and poverty, climate change, the ageing of the population and scarcity of resources; draws attention to the relevance of industrial and research policies based on open innovation and clusters, in order to promote the pooling of knowledge by the different public and private economic operators and to stimulate innovation;

5.  Stresses the importance of putting in place a coherent EU strategy that encompasses eco-innovation and is focused both on pollution reduction and efficient use of resources in production processes; to this end, calls on the Commission to develop a European Technology Platform for resource-light industries;

6.  Calls on the Commission and Member States to make progress in reforming financial instruments to make them greener and more long-term-oriented in order to attract private investment and create more and better jobs with a view to the future;

7.  Stresses that a judicious use of funding mechanisms and instruments as well as public policy guidance can help mobilise substantial additional funds from the private sector in order to support investments and create new jobs;

8.  Believes it is vital to ensure Community frameworks for research and development with a suitable and sufficient budget in order to support public and private research and make its results available in an accessible and non-bureaucratic form with a view to innovation by microbusinesses and SMEs, especially in the areas of energy efficiency, energy infrastructure, use of new and renewable energy sources and low-carbon production processes, recycling and efficient use of resources and in the context of creating decent, well-paid jobs with rights; reiterates the need to achieve the 3% target for investment in R&D, ensuring that research creates added value in the European economy, which can have a positive impact on keeping high-skilled workers in the EU;

9.  Stresses that SMEs and microbusinesses have a key role to play in the development of the sustainable economy; regrets that they may face problems in anticipating new economic trends; calls on the Commission and Member States to help these companies identify areas of potential development associated with the sustainable economy, particularly in the fields of renewable energies and energy savings, to provide easier access to microcredit, e.g. from the ‘European Progress Microfinance Facility’, and to give them proper information on how to apply for this facility;

10. Points out that the necessary economic growth and resulting employment gains in an innovation-based economy cannot be achieved unless European researchers and businesses are able to convert their research results into commercial products; refers to the Commission’s Innovation Scoreboard, which shows an innovation gap of 30% with the USA and 40% with Japan;

11. Calls on the Commission to work more closely with the Member States in order to draw up medium- and long-term forecasts regarding the skills required by the employment market and to encourage partnerships between universities and the business sector in order to foster the transition of young people to the employment market while helping to create a knowledge-based society, develop applied research and create better employment-market prospects for graduates;

12. Is aware of the fact that EU, national and regional funding schemes remain highly uncoordinated, and therefore underlines the need for better multilevel coordination between the programmes and support for more synergy between different common policies using structural, agricultural and rural development funds, the research framework programme and the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) to be devised to achieve a sustainable, resource-efficient economy; believes, as regards funding under the Common Agricultural Policy, that further consideration should be given to a greater shift from direct support mechanisms to rural development and the development of environmentally sustainable agriculture;

13. Points out that the transition to a new sustainable economy is a complex phenomenon, which calls for particular attention to be paid to those affected by deindustrialisation by introducing appropriate financial support and mechanisms and integrated interventions, geared to sustainable development and a more innovation-based economy, which is capable of creating decent, well-paid jobs with rights and reducing social inequalities and regional asymmetries; attaches importance to the social partners in achieving those goals;

14. Believes that the demographic challenges require a broader strategy combining job creation and meeting new and emerging needs on the European labour market; considers that, in this respect, further progress must be made in improving the mobility of EU workers, including researchers and other professionals, with a view to achieving a Europe without barriers within the EU internal market;

15. Calls on the Commission to ask the Member States to review the transitional provisions regulating access to their labour markets as a means of maintaining employment in the EU during the global economic crisis;

16. Points out that energy and resource efficiency will give a decisive competitive edge in the future; stresses that opting for energy efficiency not only helps boost industrial diversification and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions but can also provide social benefits and create jobs with rights on a large scale that will help Member States overcome the present economic crisis and embark upon sustainable economic growth; calls on the Commission and the Member States to consider the labour-intensity of sectors when drawing up their energy strategies;

17. Considers that the transition to a new sustainable economy and changes in companies’ or sectors’ production processes should be accompanied by adequate training, especially vocational training for young people, and lifelong learning programmes, particularly for the more vulnerable group of the over-50s, and that this will also generate new jobs; thus calls on the Commission and the Member States to strengthen the provision of such training and programmes; stresses the importance of an enhanced dialogue, where social changes are required, to adapt to the new sustainable economy, particularly within companies whose activities are based on fossil fuels; calls on the Commission, the Member States and the social partners to ensure that this dialogue is held in order to make the ecological transformation fair;

18. Calls for cooperation among Member States in the fight against undeclared employment, as the underground economy is a matter of concern throughout Europe; considers that measures against undeclared work should be intensified at Member-State and EU level;

19. Calls on the Commission to formulate Employment Guidelines which actively support the increased employment of workers aged below 25 and above 50 and pay due attention to the specific challenges faced by young and elderly people;

20. Urges the Commission and the Member States to address the skills gap that already exists between the available workforce and the needs of new sustainable industries; in this sense emphasises the importance of subsidising apprenticeships for young people as a form of transition from education to professional life; furthermore, calls on Member States to provide incentives to employers who offer low-skilled or unskilled people training and opportunities to acquire practical experience directly in the workplace; finally, stresses that digital literacy and competence for all EU citizens should be strongly supported in EU and national policies as being essential skills that enhance social integration and improve the competitive advantage of the European labour force;

21. Stresses the importance of the public sector leading by example, adopting progressive procurement standards and providing incentives and information, especially in the areas of energy, construction of infrastructure and facilities, transport and communications, for creating jobs with rights; calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote, particularly in pre-commercial procurement, the inclusion of environmental and social standards, in addition to promoting local content clauses and enterprises operating in a sustainable and inclusive economy, especially SMEs;

22. Insists also on the importance of private investment, stressing that financing needs can only be met through private investment; points out the large differences in how much is invested in R&D by private companies, ranging from 5-7% of profits in the ICT and pharmaceutical industries to approximately 1% for energy companies; calls on the EU to create the right framework conditions to provide incentives for businesses to invest;

23. Calls again upon the Commission and Member States to capitalise on the success of the Reconstruction Fund and to set up a new Community initiative, including pilot projects, for reconstruction towards a new sustainable economy;

24. Notes that further efforts need to be undertaken in order to ensure the effective EU harmonisation of minimum requirements for the organisation of working time connected with workers’ health and safety;

25. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop a specific support instrument for those who have worked in the public sector and lost their jobs due to the economic and financial crisis, similar to the EGF, in the case of EU enterprises affected by globalisation or the economic crisis.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

24.6.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

49

4

0

Members present for the final vote

Zigmantas Balčytis, Ivo Belet, Bendt Bendtsen, Jan Březina, Reinhard Bütikofer, Maria Da Graça Carvalho, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Giles Chichester, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Christian Ehler, Ioan Enciu, Adam Gierek, Norbert Glante, Fiona Hall, Edit Herczog, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, Béla Kovács, Philippe Lamberts, Judith A. Merkies, Angelika Niebler, Jaroslav Paška, Anni Podimata, Miloslav Ransdorf, Herbert Reul, Teresa Riera Madurell, Paul Rübig, Amalia Sartori, Francisco Sosa Wagner, Konrad Szymański, Britta Thomsen, Patrizia Toia, Ioannis A. Tsoukalas, Claude Turmes, Niki Tzavela, Marita Ulvskog, Vladimir Urutchev, Adina-Ioana Vălean, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Henri Weber

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Ilda Figueiredo, Andrzej Grzyb, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Yannick Jadot, Werner Langen, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Vladko Todorov Panayotov, Markus Pieper, Mario Pirillo, Vladimír Remek, Frédérique Ries, Hermann Winkler

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Jan Zahradil

(1)

OJ L 153, 18.6.2010, p. 13.


OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development (24.6.2010)

for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

on developing the job potential of a new sustainable economy

(2010/2010(INI))

Rapporteur: Kerstin Westphal

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Regional Development calls on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Considers that EU cohesion policy plays a crucial role in developing the job potential of a sustainable economy, as it helps eliminate regional differences and boost the economy, with the aim of achieving full employment; highlights the role to be played by the regional and local levels in promoting a sustainable economy, stresses that regions should use the European Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund to take initiatives to create new, sustainable and lasting jobs; stresses the importance of Member States using the European Social Fund to invest in skills, employment, training and retraining activities with a view to creating more and better jobs through national, regional and local projects; believes that the professional experience of older people may also make a contribution to these initiatives, bearing in mind the growing proportion of older people in the EU population; recommends that regional and local authorities should have appropriate, permanent contacts with the business environment, employers’ organisations, trade unions and NGOs with a view to projecting the needs of the labour market in the medium and long term;

2.  Stresses, in this connection, the importance of the concept of integrated urban development and that a sustainable redevelopment of disadvantaged urban areas could assume a beacon role; considers that a prerequisite for this is a clear policy framework, including maintenance of the promotion of the urban dimension in the Structural Funds;

3.  Emphasises that, in the context of the current economic crisis and of the climate change issue, it is of utmost importance to support the development of a green economy; points out that local and regional authorities play a key role in the shift to greater sustainability; particularly in terms of their capacity to foster links between educational, training and research centres and SMEs; stresses that for this purpose the EU cohesion policy represents a key tool, that can help not only to combat climate change through intelligent energy policy but also to open up the prospect of new economic and job opportunities for citizens;

4.  Points out that the impact of climate change in Europe varies from one region to another, that according to a Commission study(1) the regions in southern and eastern Europe, where more than one third of the European Union’s population lives, are particularly exposed to the pressure of climate change, that the most vulnerable population groups are those worst affected, and that greater regional and social imbalances may develop as a result;

5.  Recognises the important role of local and regional authorities in education, which forms the basis for the acquisition of further, future-oriented skills, including through lifelong learning and retraining; points out that the general conditions governing education and the further training of young people, including school leavers with no qualifications, in many countries are the responsibility of the regional and local authorities; therefore encourages the regions to use the Structural Funds for educational infrastructure, especially in disadvantaged urban areas and regions and to make comprehensive and inclusive school education possible using this support; points to the significant (educational and training) potential offered by networking between local and regional authorities and firms and associations, in terms of creating sustainable jobs in the fields of local transport, urban mobility, education, and research and development, and placing emphasis on equal opportunities;

6.  Stresses the importance of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for regional clustering by bringing together research, innovation and infrastructure locally in the context of new technologies, such as renewable energy and energy efficiency; further underlines that, especially in urban areas, regional and local authorities are the best positioned and most capable of creating the conditions necessary for the growth of clusters of innovative enterprises; points out that such clustering can act as a decisive spur to local economic development and can create new jobs in the regions;

7.  Is aware of the fact that the EU and national and regional funding schemes remain highly uncoordinated and therefore, with a view to achieving the Europe 2020 goals, underlines the need for better multi-level coordination between the programmes and support for more synergy between different common policies by making use of the Structural Funds, agricultural and rural development funds, the Research Framework Programme and the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP);

8.  Highlights the added value of life-long learning and calls on the Member States to conduct a thorough mapping of local potential in order to organise demand-driven training that matches available resources to actual needs and to re-establish the prestige of vocational secondary education by providing high-standard education, particularly in regions where local potential and traditional work areas require special skills and knowledge to be fully developed; calls on the Commission to provide the Member States with sufficient technical support on how to map local needs and notes that high-standard vocational secondary schools could help reduce graduate unemployment and lead to sustainable employment;

9.  Points to the key role played by SMEs in promoting innovation in Europe; encourages the private and public sector to use the European Social Fund as a means of promoting entrepreneurial attitudes and skills amongst young people, as well as providing career guidance for people facing unemployment;

10. Stresses the importance of the geographical mobility of workers in accordance with the Treaties; recognises that an improvement in mobility through good local transport increases access to job opportunities, and that the resulting multiplier effect is particularly important in border regions affected by high rates of unemployment; therefore encourages the regions, and the local and regional administrations, authorities and NGOs in border areas, to use resources from the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund for infrastructure measures carried out in the context of national and inter-regional cooperation programmes while using the European Social Fund to create better educational and employment opportunities for young people from rural areas;

11. Emphasises the importance of measures to promote growth and employment in the countryside, so as to stem rural depopulation;

12. Calls on the responsible authorities in the Member States and the Commission to pay greater attention to the sustainability of jointly financed measures, as provided for in Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund(2); urges the responsible authorities to ensure that resources from the Structural Funds remain committed in the long term and that funding is only provided after ensuring the durability of operations, as stipulated in Article 57 of that regulation; calls on the responsible authorities to prevent 'subsidy shopping' by establishing adequate penalty mechanisms;

13. Reiterates its support for the pilot project ‘Erasmus for elected local and regional representatives’, which could help local and regional authorities to exchange best-practice models and could also have a multiplier effect in the area of labour market policy; emphasises the need to specify implementation-related elements of the project and to closely cooperate with the Committee of the Regions and organisations representing networks of regions; calls on the Commission to accelerate the process for the implementation of this pilot project; encourages the Commission to substantiate the idea of creating a ‘local academy’ for this purpose;

14. Recommends that the regional authorities adopt development strategies in line with the objectives of the EU 2020 Strategy with the aim of creating new jobs in a sustainable economy.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

21.6.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

40

2

1

Members present for the final vote

Luís Paulo Alves, Charalampos Angourakis, Sophie Auconie, Catherine Bearder, Jean-Paul Besset, Victor Boştinaru, Zuzana Brzobohatá, John Bufton, Alain Cadec, Salvatore Caronna, Tamás Deutsch, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Danuta Maria Hübner, Ian Hudghton, Evgeni Kirilov, Constanze Angela Krehl, Petru Constantin Luhan, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Iosif Matula, Erminia Mazzoni, Miroslav Mikolášik, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Franz Obermayr, Jan Olbrycht, Wojciech Michał Olejniczak, Markus Pieper, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Monika Smolková, Georgios Stavrakakis, Nuno Teixeira, , Oldřich Vlasák, Kerstin Westphal, Joachim Zeller

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Jens Geier, Catherine Grèze, Andrey Kovatchev, Marie-Thérèse Sanchez-Schmid, Elisabeth Schroedter, Richard Seeber, Dimitar Stoyanov

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Marian Harkin, Stanimir Ilchev, Alexandra Thein

(1)

Commission staff working paper entitled ‘Regions 2020 – An Assessment of Future Challenges for EU Regions’, November 2008, available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/docoffic/working/regions2020/pdf/regions2020_en.pdf.

(2)

OJ L 210, 31.7.2006, p. 25.


OPINION of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (24.6.2010)

for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

on developing the job potential of a new sustainable economy

(2010/2010(INI))

Rapporteur: Britta Thomsen

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality calls on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas the transition to a new sustainable economy should not be used as a pretext for cutting back on various equality measures, but should instead be seen as a unique opportunity to raise women’s participation in the EU labour market, since this is a prerequisite for ensuring sustainable growth and meeting the demands of the ecological transformation in an ageing society,

B.  whereas the transition towards a new sustainable economy should not be a pretext for excluding the most vulnerable and least qualified workers from the employment market; whereas, therefore, there is a need to avoid the ‘cream-skimming’ effect of which the least qualified workers would be the first victims,

C. whereas, according to recent studies, the presence of women at all levels of responsibility provides added value for companies, in particular with regard to their economic performance,

D. whereas women secure most of the university degrees in the EU and are in the majority on business, management and law courses, but remain in the minority in positions of responsibility in companies and public bodies,

E.  whereas, notably because of the sexist stereotypes that exist in education and in society, women are under-represented in fields that are wrongly considered to be ‘male’, such as information technology, engineering, physics, and technical occupations such as mechanics and bricklaying,

F.  whereas a new economy will take shape in an ageing society with a shrinking workforce, making it necessary to attract more women to perform paid labour by adapting work organisation and preparing employers in all sectors for a more diverse workforce,

1.  Underlines that only by raising female participation in the European labour market can we fully utilise the growth potential and job potential in the new economy, since narrowing the gap between male and female employment rates has accounted for half the increase in Europe’s overall employment rate and a quarter of annual economic growth since 1995;

2.  Stresses the importance of focusing on gender equality in the transition to a new sustainable economy, since women are more likely to be in an insecure position on the labour market owing to precarious employment conditions and a consistent gender-based wage gap; recognises the need for women to be given a choice as to the type of work they undertake, if they wish to work; calls for the development of labour market policies at Member State level which address the gender dimension, accompanied by programmes which empower and give confidence to women ; recalls that this can be achieved by providing a higher standard of education for girls and women in normally male-dominated subjects;

3.  Believes, given that gender segregation in employment, where the value and remuneration of jobs vary according to whether they are mainly male or female occupations, is a major source of inequalities, that green jobs can be a mechanism for remunerating women’s work better in order to ensure social gains for female workers and thereby addressing the issue of the gender balance and gender pay gap;

4.  Calls for an EU initiative to raise awareness among employers, especially in traditionally male-dominated sectors, of the need for, and benefits of, a more diverse workforce in an ageing society and to offer them tools with which to prepare for more diversity;

5.  Underlines that ‘green jobs’ have the potential to become a key growth segment of the future European labour market, that today more than 20 million jobs in the European Union can be regarded as ‘green’ and that recent evidence shows that jobs in the renewable energy sector alone have a potential to double to 2.8 million by 2020; calls on the Council, the Commission and the Member States to ensure that women benefit equally;

6.  Points out that investment in social infrastructure provides an opportunity to modernise Europe and promote equality, and can be seen as a parallel strategy to modernisation of the physical infrastructure through investment in green technologies; considers that gender equality should therefore be a policy priority and an essential tool;

7.  Points out that – bearing in mind that only 30% of all entrepreneurs are women, and few women are self-employed – the barriers that currently prevent women from becoming entrepreneurs should be removed, since entrepreneurs are crucial to productivity and growth in a sustainable economy;

8.  Calls on the Member States to take some effective measures – legislative ones in particular – to foster a balanced presence of women and men in positions of responsibility in companies and political bodies; welcomes the decision of the Norwegian Government to impose a minimum representation of 40% for each gender on boards of directors of both private and public companies;

9.  Underlines that a targeted effort to ensure women’s access to education at all levels by combating sexist stereotypes, and to provide life-long-learning, is essential in order to break down gender segregation in the labour market; calls for the provision of adequate training in order to prevent the under-representation of female workers in green jobs, bearing in mind that a massive opt-out by women from science and technology would impede Europe’s growth and sustainability and leave many talented and qualified young women on the margins of employment and economic certainty;

10. Calls on the Member States to provide equal employment opportunities policies and to adopt family-friendly work practices as a prerequisite for sustainable growth in both economic and environmental terms;

11. Calls for a specific EU initiative to attract girls to the MINT professions (mathematics, informatics, natural sciences and technology) and to combat the stereotypes that still dominate these professions; stresses that the role of the media and education is key in combating such stereotypes;

12. Emphasises that, in order to ensure equal participation in vocational training and lifelong learning, more attention should be paid to allowing men and women to fulfil their family roles and care obligations; calls on the EU and the Member States to ensure affordable, flexible, high-quality childcare options;

13. Stresses that young women, in the transition between school and work, should be guided towards apprenticeships, in which they are under-represented, this being promoted by means of joint planning between schools, universities and training agencies and/or firms, so that they acquire specific skills and capabilities – also at advanced and specialist levels – through work experience and by working on a regular, rather than a precarious, basis, and with the prospect of fulfilment;

14. Calls on the EU and the Member States to give higher priority to green jobs for women in the context of European Social Fund (ESF) programmes, taking into account of the fact that the ESF finances training projects in areas such as renewable energy and ecotourism; emphasises that greater efforts are needed to increase the rate of female participation in EFS-supported projects, which is currently below 10%; calls for the introduction of gender budgeting in the ESF as well as in recovery plans and structural adjustment programmes to ensure that such programmes attract and integrate women equally;

15. Stresses that institutional efforts to create jobs in a new sustainable economy should also aim to strengthen the professional skills of the poorest workers, who are also a dynamic force in the employment market;

16. Calls on the Commission to pay special heed to the poorest citizens, in particular women who experience extreme poverty in their daily lives and for whom integration into the labour market requires specific accompanying measures;

17. Calls on the EU and national institutions, in addition to companies and the social partners, to pay special attention to the integration of women from marginalised minorities, such as Roma women;

18. Calls on the EU and national institutions to address issues relating to the new sustainable economy through European thematic years, such as the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion (2010), the European Year of Volunteering (2011) and the proposal for a European Year for Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity (2012), in order to highlight the impact of strengthening the various sectoral policies;

19. Underlines the need to increase women’s participation in trade unions in non-traditional employment sectors, since the protection of women’s rights such as the right to equal pay, maternity leave, fair working hours and a non-discriminating work environment is decisive if the jobs in the new economy are to be socially sustainable;

20. Calls on the Member States to require public and private companies to develop plans to promote gender equality as well as a reporting system on the progress achieved.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE(1)

Date adopted

23.06.2010

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

30

1

0

Members present for the final vote

Edit Bauer, Emine Bozkurt, Andrea Češková, Marije Cornelissen, Silvia Costa, Edite Estrela, Ilda Figueiredo, Iratxe García Pérez, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Mary Honeyball, Sophia in ‘t Veld, Lívia Járóka, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Philippe Juvin, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Barbara Matera, Antonyia Parvanova, Frédérique Ries, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Joanna Katarzyna Skrzydlewska, Eva-Britt Svensson, Marc Tarabella, Britta Thomsen, Anna Záborská

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Christa Klaß, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Mariya Nedelcheva, Chrysoula Paliadeli

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Julie Girling, Gesine Meissner


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

14.7.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

43

1

3

Members present for the final vote

Regina Bastos, Edit Bauer, Jean-Luc Bennahmias, Pervenche Berès, Mara Bizzotto, Milan Cabrnoch, Ole Christensen, Derek Roland Clark, Sergio Gaetano Cofferati, Marije Cornelissen, Tadeusz Cymański, Frédéric Daerden, Karima Delli, Proinsias De Rossa, Sari Essayah, Richard Falbr, Ilda Figueiredo, Pascale Gruny, Thomas Händel, Marian Harkin, Roger Helmer, Vincenzo Iovine, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Danuta Jazłowiecka, Martin Kastler, Ádám Kósa, Patrick Le Hyaric, Veronica Lope Fontagné, Olle Ludvigsson, Elizabeth Lynne, Thomas Mann, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Csaba Őry, Siiri Oviir, Rovana Plumb, Sylvana Rapti, Licia Ronzulli, Elisabeth Schroedter, Joanna Katarzyna Skrzydlewska, Jutta Steinruck, Traian Ungureanu

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Georges Bach, Raffaele Baldassarre, Françoise Castex, Jelko Kacin, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, Antigoni Papadopoulou, Csaba Sógor, Emilie Turunen

Last updated: 4 August 2010Legal notice