3 July 2023

Spain assumes the rotating Presidency of the EU Council for a six months’ duration, until the end of 2023.

Since 1st July 2023, Spain assumes the rotating Presidency of the EU Council for a six months’ duration, until the end of 2023. Spain announced that, during its Presidency, they will focus on four key priorities:

1. Strengthen European unity

This will be fundamental in order to deal with the many global challenges which the EU is currently faced with. These challenges can often have a direct impact on the companies within the MET sector. Therefore, Ceemet believes that such an initiative will be a crucial tenet on the Spanish Presidency of the EU Council.

2. Promoting greater social and economic justice

MET employers have already made much progress in the promotion of equality at the workplace. This includes the integration of disabled people and vulnerable groups and the promotion of women in STEM education. Ceemet will be pleased to share with the Presidency the best practices of its members in this context.

Ceemet would like to highlight to the Presidency the key role of Social Dialogue in dealing with these pertinent issues.

3. Advancing the ecological transition and environmental adaptation

Ceemet has been working with the European institutions around the “Fit for 55 legislative dossiers” since their inception. Ceemet will share with the Spanish Presidency the progress of the MET companies in this field, while explaining the consequences of potential constraints and the need for reasonable transition periods.

The Fit for 55 Package is already having massive consequences on jobs and skills in the MET industries. It is for this reason that Ceemet calls on policy makers to support companies and especially SMEs in their transition to the green economy.

4. Re-industrialising the European Union and guaranteeing its open strategic autonomy.

Ceemet welcomes the Presidency’s announcement to “promote issues that will foster the development of strategic industries and technologies in Europe, the broadening and diversification of our trade relations and the strengthening of our supply chains.” From our perspective, the Presidency should pay attention to the dramatic consequences of the application of the Due Diligence Directive as it is proposed in the EU Parliament at this time. The Presidency should take into account the realities of companies who are faced with global competitiveness challenges and ensure that the legislation will be fit for purpose.

MET employers consider that the re-industrialisation of Europe cannot only be discussed from an economic point of view, but it needs to include the labour market issues. It is crucial to integrate a strong chapter on labour market reforms and skills shortages in the re-industrialisation plan.

As for the field of employment, the Spanish Presidency will be guided by three principal themes: social dialogue, decent work and the social economy.

Ceemet welcomes the focus on promoting social dialogue between European social partners. On the social partner agreement on remote work and the right to disconnect, Ceemet believes that it is of vital importance to allow enough room for negotiation between the social partners, without a push to conclude from the European level.

Skills shortages continue to hamper the competitiveness of MET industries. For this reason, Ceemet will seek to contribute to the development of the tripartite Declaration with the European social partners in relation to European Year of Skills 2023 to be concluded under the Spanish Presidency.

Further, Ceemet is happy to see that the Spanish Presidency’s plans to discuss the legislation applicable to international remote workers in the EU and its impact on the coordination of social security systems in the EPSCO meeting. Related to this topic, we urge the Spanish Presidency to continue the work of the previous Presidency to try to find an agreement on the Regulation on Social Security Coordination, which includes an exemption from the prior notification requirement for business trips and a horizontal exemption for work trips that only take a limited number of days.