15 May 2013 CCI / Major economic policy reformsOngoingReferences: ECO/348
COM(2013) 165 final; COM(2013) 166 finalRapporteur: David CROUGHAN (Employers - GR I / Ireland) The Committee gives a guarded welcome to the two communications from the Commission on the introduction of a Competitiveness and Convergence Instrument and on ex-ante coordination of plans for major economic policy reforms. It is disappointing that they provide little additional detail to the concepts already outlined in the Blueprint, which therefore renders assessment difficult. While these two proposals could be a help to Member States in difficulty, restoring growth and capacity to the most needy areas may be hampered or delayed because the focus of concern is that the measures taken must also benefit the euro area as a whole. The Committee questions the added value of a CCI and the additional bureaucratic burden that the proposed ex-ante coordination may bring. The EESC wishes to continue the debate as developments evolve.
14 May 2013 The green economy – promoting sustainable development in EuropeOngoingReferences: CESE 2407/2012 - NAT/590
Rapporteur: Ms. Joana Agudo i Bataller (Workers - GR II / Spain)Co-rapporteur: Mr. Pedro Narro (Various interests - GR III / Spain) (...) The EESC believes that developing an inclusive green economy will be Europe's main challenge in the coming years if it wants to remain a global economic power. At the Rio+20 conference, the EU pledged its commitment to the green economy as a form of sustainable development. Now is the time for the EU to take action. This is why we need an economic development model that prioritises public investment and draws up adequate incentives for private investment to develop "green" infrastructure and R&D&I, with the dual purpose of promoting production in order to emerge quickly from the current recession and guiding our transition through this third industrial revolution from a leading economic and social position (...)
14 May 2013 Youth Guarantee (ESP)OngoingReferences: SOC/485
2 referrals, see below
Rapporteur: Soares (Workers - GR II / Portugal) The EESC agrees with the Commission on the need to change the rules of the Parliament and of the Council on the European Social Fund and the Structural Funds, but regrets that the funds for the Initiative for Youth Employment do not result from a strengthening of the EU budget but are taken from the overall budget for cohesion. The Committee is also convinced that the foreseen amount, i.e. € 6 billion, is insufficient given the magnitude of the problem and the urgency to solve it. Finally, the Committee reiterates that the maximum age giving access to the Youth Guarantee should be increased to 30 years to cover for people who are still in a transition phase from education to employment.
14 May 2013 Social Investment PackageOngoingReferences: SOC/481
COM(2013) 83 finalRapporteur: Röpke (Workers - GR II / Austria) The EESC welcomes as such the Commission's Social Investment Package and the shift in approach it represents. However, the EESC considers that the question of financing remains largely unanswered. Better use of the European structural and investment funds and the best possible targeting of the measures are certainly to be welcomed, but will certainly not be enough to achieve the desired policy shift.
14 May 2013 Where is the euro headed?OngoingReferences: ECO/334
Rapporteur: Carmelo CEDRONE (Workers - GR II / Italy) The international economic and financial crisis exposed the structural limitations and contradictions in EMU, depriving the euro of its propensity to attract. The EESC believes that the single currency will be unsustainable unless we achieve convergence between the economic capacities of the euro area countries and improve overall competitiveness, objectives which require economic as well as political commitment. The Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance stresses stability without proposing joint financial instruments for recovery and employment. Europe needs to go back to generating wealth in order to redistribute it fairly. Briefly, these are the EESC's four recommendations for completing the euro framework: establish EU economic governance for growth; create a system of monetary and financial governance to complete the ECB's mandate and the banking union; move towards a political and social union; and strengthen the international role of the EU and global governance.
14 May 2013 Subcommittee: For a social dimension of the European Economic and Monetary UnionOngoingReferences: SC/038
Rapporteur: Luca JahierCo-rapporteur: Giorgios Dassis, Henri Malosse It is time to build the social pillar of the EMU within the framework of a social Europe, without which citizens' adhesion to the European project as a whole will remain at risk. The EESC recommends to launch a new European Social Action Programme with tangible measures to develop social governance and participatory ownership of the European project. The EESC would propose two new exploratory initiatives:
- The issuance of European Social Bonds financed, owned, managed and supervised transparently by civil society stakeholders;
- The setting-up of a European Education Network for Unemployed Workers.
The increasing share of intermittent RES has prompted intense debates on the technical and economic consequences of such an increase. Beyond a certain share of the energy mix, intermittent RES require additional components of the energy system to be put in place: grid extensions, storage facilities, and reserve capacities. The Committee therefore recommends that significant impetus be given to developing and installing these missing elements.
17 Apr 2013 Single European Sky II+AdoptedReferences: TEN/504
Rapporteur: Mr Jacek Krawczyk (Employers - GR I / Poland)
Plenary Session: 489
- 17 Apr 2013 - 18 Apr 2013
The EESC is pleading for the full and swift implementation of the Single European Sky (SES) as an inherent part of European policy action for further strengthening the European single market and improving the EU's competitiveness and growth. The continuing crisis in the aviation sector and particularly in the airline industry calls even more for bringing European Air Traffic Management (ATM) services to an efficiency level that is comparable with global best practices. The EESC regrets that most Member States have so far failed to comply with the SES performance targets and that most of the Functional Airspace Block (FAB) initiative failed to deliver by the legally binding deadline of 4 December 2012.
21 Mar 2013 The Internal Market and State aid for the regionsAdoptedReferences: CESE 1849/2012 - INT/653
Rapporteur: Mr Edgardo Iozia (Workers - GR II / Italy)
Plenary Session: 488
- 20 Mar 2013 - 21 Mar 2013
(Summary Plenary Session)
The Committee is delighted of the process to update and modernise the guidelines on public aid for businesses in disadvantaged areas and calls on the Commission to make EU policies more consistent with competition policy. The Committee requests that the new guidelines on state aid for the regions give Member States a flexible cross-sectoral instrument and asks for the adoption of more flexible parameters that are better tailored to a dramatically changing economic context.