With the Czech Republic taking over the rotating presidency of the Europeam Council of the EU this month, Cooperatives Europe has welcomed to the country’s programme for the next six months.
Priorities outlined by the Czechs included solidarity with Ukraine, energy security, European defence and building resilience into the economic and democratic systems.
Cooperatives Europe noted the presidency’s ambitions in social affairs, particularly with regard to the implementation of the Social Economy Action Plan, and its call for a general approach by the Council over a directive on working conditions for workers on online platforms.
The apex also approved of the presidency’s intent to speed the implementation of REPowerEU, a European Commission €300bn plan to end reliance on Russian fossil fuels before 2030. The plan includes accelerating the clean energy transition and diversifying energy sources.
“Considering our work on the green transition and the Fit for 55 package, we see this point as an opportunity to push further the roll-out of renewable energy, energy savings, and clean mobility, in which many cooperatives are operating nowadays,” said Cooperatives Europe.
Another propriety for the Czech Republic will be to focus on supporting small and medium-sized enterprises. This includes the development of skills for increased competitiveness, limiting administrative burdens on SMEs, and reaching a common approach on sustainable corporate governance.
“Without any doubt, this ambitious programme aims at addressing the most pressing issues of the current geopolitical situation,” added Cooperatives Europe, which said it will support the objectives and “keep working towards a socio-political and economic recovery enabling European co-operatives to thrive in the single market”.