KL - Local Government Denmark's prioritized EU-initiatives
The European Green Deal
In 2020, the EU member states committed to reducing carbon emissions with 55 per cent by 2030 and finally reach carbon neutrality by 2050. In order to reach these targets, the European Green Deal is a focal initiative on the European agenda.
The aim of the European Green Deal is to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable use of resources in Europe. Therefore, the Green Deal covers a variety of specific initiatives that all contribute to these targets. An example of this is the Fit for 55-package, which consists of 13 legislative initiatives addressing many issues in the green transition.
Local authorities in all of Europe will play an important role in realizing the targets for the green transition. Danish municipalities handle a variety of tasks that will be affected by European legislation in the coming years. In addition, many municipalities are already working on many green initiatives locally.
Therefore, KL - Local Government Denmark will follow European initiatives regarding the green transition closely in order to secure the Danish local climate efforts.
The Digital Agenda
Digitalization has been an important topic on the European Commission’s agenda for the last couple of years. The Commission wishes to pursue a human-centric and sustainable vision for what the Commission calls "Europe's Digital Decade" to empower citizens and businesses. As a result of these ambitions, the European Commission has initiated a series of different initiatives and bills, seeking to develop the EU’s digital infrastructure and cooperation.
Initiatives regarding digitalization are important to the Danish municipalities because they create the framework for everyday tasks. The municipalities handle large amounts of data when they are in contact with the citizens. Additionally, many municipalities are already working on developing and implementing new technologies in innovative ways in order to meet modern challenges more effectively.
That is why the bills proposed by the European Commission can provide the municipalities with new and innovative possibilities, but they can also limit them. For that reason, KL - Local Government Denmark actively seek to influence the EU agenda regarding digitalization in the EU.
The European Pillar of Social Rights
With the European Pillar of Social Rights, the European Commission wants to lay a foundation in order to expand on the social rights of the EU-citizens. Specifically, the pillar consists of 20 principles that all seek to ensure balance between economic and social aspects of the single market. These principles aim to create a well-functioning labour market with fair working conditions, social security and inclusion.
In order for achieve the principles of the Social Pillar, the EU launched an action plan in 2021. The action plan includes three ambitious targets to reach by 2030:
- At least 78 per cent of the population aged 20 to 64 should be in employment
- At least 60 per cent of all adults should be participating in training every year
- A reduction of at least 15 million in the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion
The pillar will affect the Danish municipalities. Specifically, the principles regarding education, childcare, and social protection will impact the services provided by municipalities towards the citizens.
In addition to the above, the social pillar will also significantly affect the municipalities as employers. The 98 Danish municipalities combined employ nearly half a million employees which is roughly 20 per cent of the Danish work force. In Denmark, working conditions and wages are negotiated by the social parties, known as the Danish/Nordic Model. KL - Local Government Denmark negotiates on behalf of all the municipalities.
The principles and the initiatives set out, e.g. social rights, minimum income, and equal pay transparency measures, will impact Danish collective agreements, and that is the reason why KL - Local Government Denmark is keeping a close eye on European social policies.