The EESC recommends taking a decisive step towards a real European Energy Community by coordinating national plans, particularly with a view to securing the EU’s energy supply, providing more information on plans to step up action in the non-ETS sector, particularly in the transport, agriculture and land use sectors. And taking radical action on innovation and research as the providers of real solutions to the challenges, in combination with measures to promote the manufacture of equipment for the low carbon economy, while and ensuring that delivery by industry is supported by better training, and making the international development of climate policies the top priority and in parallel paying more attention to adaptation to climate change.
The EESC believes that the Commission's documents (Communication and Recommendations) are based on a realistic view of the subject and that further discussions must be based on facts and findings, but it is also necessary to consider important subjective factors such as the public's perception of risk. The EESC takes a balanced view of the potential role of unconventional hydrocarbons in the EU energy mix.
Youth unemployment is a top policy priority of the EESC. Monitoring youth employment measures closely, the Committee is putting forward recommendations based on current practices in Member States. It also suggests that only a strategy geared towards growth and aimed at strengthening competitiveness and restoring the confidence of investors and households, as well as sustainable investment and an economic recovery plan, can stimulate demand for labour.
The main goal of the opinion is to provide a good and qualitative source of information and opinion in the beginning of TTIP negotiations process.
Energy prices can comprise an important competitiveness factor for industry. However, an economic analysis of industrial competitiveness should not be limited to energy prices. It is essential to have global coherence in limiting climate change. Leadership by Europe may risk consequences of uncompetitiveness, industrial relocation and carbon export.
Energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other indigenous sources of energy can all improve security of supply but each have factors of cost, risk, environmental impact and social acceptance attached. As national approaches and attitudes will vary transparent cost analysis and a revision and better coordination of support instruments (like feed-in regulations and tariffs) are vital in determining an acceptable energy mix in each Member State and cooperation with neighbouring countries is equally important.
The EESC welcomes the communication and concludes that the challenges facing European industries are not abating, and without a competitive industrial base, Europe will not secure growth and more jobs. In its opinion the EESC particularly recommends to pay more attention to the role of the services and corresponding policies, in particular knowledge based services, to take measures to reduce energy prices and to encourage innovation, EU competition and state aid policies.
The EESC welcomes the Communication as a significant and helpful support for the implementation of the Core Network Corridors and the predefined projects in them. The EESC appreciates the Communications’ focus on the governance system and the support it provides for the development of the work plans for the Core Network Corridors.
Over-indebtedness has grown with the financial crisis, the rising cost of living and use of cash credit. However, it has not been properly addressed at EU level. The EESC wants that an appropriate uniform procedure is put in place including verification of claims, a European framework for usury or preventive measures.
The EESC considers that there is an enormous need for a social investment package to counter poverty and promote employment. Implementing such a package requires:
- creating an investment programme amounting to 2% of GDP;
- identifying new sources of revenue;
- including social investments in the Europe 2020 Strategy and the European Semester;
- considering excluding social investments from the calculation of net government deficits; and
- finding the right tools to measure the effects of such investments