SGI Europe comments on the 2023 State of the EU address of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
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SGI Europe comments on the 2023 State of the EU address of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

On Wednesday 13 September 2023, Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission President, presented the 2023 State of the European Union address at the plenary session of the European Parliament. In this speech, President von der Leyen outlined the main achievements of the European Commission since 2019, as well as the flagship initiatives planned until the European elections of June 2024.

Commenting on President von der Leyen’s speech, Valeria Ronzitti, SGI Europe General Secretary, said:

“We agree with President von der Leyen’s assessment that the Green Deal has become the new EU growth engine. It led to a societal and economic transformation with new opportunities and challenges. SGI Europe has been a committed proponent of this revolution since day one. However, the role that services of general interest play in making this revolution a success is not yet fully recognised, since the focus is on a limited number of SGIs, such as renewables and energy providers. Waste management, water distribution, public transport, social housing or digital infrastructure are equally central and need additional support and investments to implement the Green Deal successfully. We hope to see this support in the next nine months.”

“We welcome the initiative behind the future “Draghi Report” on the EU competitiveness. SGI Europe calls for a clear recognition of SGIs in that context and for addressing the investment needs in social and physical infrastructures. Ensuring that our economic framework and the EU budget are fit for this challenge is paramount, including through stepping up the provision of EU public goods.”

“The 2024 Social Partner Summit in Val Duchesse must be a milestone for EU social dialogue, ensuring that EU labour markets are up to future challenges. SGI Europe recalls the importance of social dialogue as a core component of the EU socio-economic model. In that respect, we are committed to increasing our capacity-building actions, looking at the enlarged Europe evoked today by President von der Leyen. That is why we think that involving candidate countries in such an exceptional event can significantly contribute to supporting EU enlargement.”

(Image: Source: EC - Audiovisual Service)

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