13 Jul 2012 Ref: 049 2012 Pensions and youth employment: EESC seeks a delicate balance On Thursday 12 July, the European Economic and Social Committee adopted two opinions on sensitive topics that are at the heart of the debate across Europe: the future of the pension systems and employment for young people. In both cases, the Committee reached a compromise solution and thus established its position for the future debate on two issues that are so vital to the idea of social Europe.
The EESC opinion on the European Commission's White Paper for adequate, safe and sustainable pensions, drafted by rapporteur Petru Dandea (Workers' Group, Romania) together with co-rapporteur Krzysztof Pater (Various' Interests Group, Poland), considers carefully the range of proposals set out in the Commission document on how Member States can reform their pension systems. This is a particularly sensitive issue, and ties in closely with growth and employment policies.
13 Jul 2012 Ref: 048 2012 Translating Rio+20 into action The European Economic and Social Committee played a very active role in the run-up to the Rio+20 Conference, and during the conference itself, facilitating broad civil society dialogue and input. EESC president Staffan Nilsson is determined to push implementation of the UN conference results at EU level, and to give civil society a pivotal role in framing the Sustainable Development Goals.
Since Rio, the Economic and Social Committee has wasted no time: a series of follow-up events have been held over the past few weeks, in the conviction that, as Mr Nilsson has often remarked, "the road from Rio is at least as important as the road to Rio". The EESC intends to make Rio+20 the starting point for a new world economic order, based on sustainability.
12 Jul 2012 Ref: 047 2012 Defence industry: is Europe lagging behind? While defence budgets across the European Union are being cut, defence spending in China, India, Brazil, Russia and other countries is rising. If Europe wants to maintain a sound security and defence industry, Member States need to coordinate their defence budgets, avoid overlaps and reinforce joint research programmes. This is the message which the EESC stressed in the opinion it adopted yesterday on the European defence industry.
"While certain third countries raise their defence expenditure, we cannot continue wasting time with separate research programmes or defence strategies. The EU goal should be clear: a common defence policy, a common research programme and a shared defence production." stressed rapporteur Joost van Iersel (Employers' Group, Netherlands).
10 Jul 2012 Ref: 045 2012 Cyprus EU presidency tops the agenda as EESC members gather for the plenary session The future of the EU defence industry, the posting of workers and the maritime labour convention are some of the issues to be discussed at the next European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) plenary session, scheduled to take place on 11 and 12 July. The plenary session will also see two debates, one on the Cyprus EU presidency, attended by the Cyprus Deputy Minister for European Affairs, Andreas D. Mavroyiannis, the other on the outcome of the Rio conference, attended by Commissioner Potočnik and other stakeholders.
Venue: Charlemagne building, second floor, De Gasperi room -Brussels
Start: Wednesday, 11 July
2.00 p.m. Press briefing with Minister Mavroyiannis
2.30 p.m. Plenary session