The first six months of 2021 have been an challenging period in which Europe has made a tremendous effort to get out of the crisis. Although not yet over, the pandemic has now slowed down and has given Europe a chance to take a deep breath for a powerful recovery. PES have been deeply involved in contributing to cushion the effects of the crisis. However, even if the economic outlook seems positive, PES will now need to support those hit hardest by the crisis. Many challenges on the labour markets are now all the more serious and the full extent of the crisis will only gradually become apparent. The PES Network has shown its strengths during the crisis. Solidarity and willingness to work together and support each other were never as evident as during the crisis.
What awaits us in the next half year? We will see how the pandemic develops in the autumn. The situation on the labour markets is still tense, many citizens have lost their jobs and phasing out job retention schemes may worsen the situation on the labour markets. Therefore, continuous efforts need to be made. This is why Slovenia holds the presidency under the slogan “Together. Resilient. Europe.” Slovenia will round off the efforts of the current Trio, including Germany and Portugal putting strong focus on the social and employment dimension. The PES Network wants to take this opportunity and thank our Portuguese colleagues for a successful Presidency! We also wish our Slovenian colleagues all the best for the upcoming six months and rest assured that the PES Network will be a strong and reliable partner.
As regards the PES Network we want to take to opportunity to draw your attention to some new developments. The Network has worked over the last months on a new Network Strategy. We wanted to update our current Strategy as we believe that the pandemic has such severe impacts on our society which needs to be reflected in our main strategy document. The PES Network Strategy has now been published and can be found here.
Further we have seen some changes in our PES Network Secretariat hosted at DG EMPL, following a reorganization that took place on 1 July. We welcome our new Board member from the European Commission, Director Jordi Curell. He is the Director for Labour mobility and international affairs, and his Directorate oversees also the implementation of the ESF and the European Semester in 7 countries. His alternate is Denis Genton, Head of Unit EMPL E1 (‘Labour mobililty, Public Employment Services, ELA’, also in charge of Europass and the ESCO classification).
We also want to take this opportunity to thank our great colleagues Ulrike Storost and Claire Grapeloux, who have been the central pillar of the PES Network Secretariat for such a long period and we wish you all the best for your future.
In this spirit we welcome our new colleagues in the Secretariat Elodie Fazi (until recently secretary of the European Platform tackling undeclared work and former team leader on youth employment) and Polina Mosheva (previously project manager overseeing the Eures Portal) – welcome on Board!
The PES Network wishes you a pleasant summer break and is looking forward to an interesting autumn 2021!