The European Economic and Social Committee adopted its opinion on The core role of trade and investment in meeting and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its December Plenary Session (Rapporteur: Jonathan Peel, UK; Co-rapporteur: Christophe Quarez, FR).
Thirty-three schools from across Europe will come to Brussels next March and tell European institutions just what role they see culture playing in Europe's future. They will brainstorm, debate and vote on three proposals which European institutions will factor into their policy making.
The EESC believes the EDIDP and the EDF are important drivers of both Europe's economy and integration.
In the two opinions on Europe's defence policy adopted at the plenary, the EESC argued that Member States should strive for a more coordinated and responsible form of EU defence, although Europe's defence policy should remain embedded in the NATO framework.
The current framework does not lead to sustainable food systems, warns the EESC
The current EU framework does not suffice for a transition to more sustainable food systems. A comprehensive food policy is urgently needed in order to improve coherence across food-related policy areas, restore the value of food and ensure the effective implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) said at its plenary session on Wednesday.
Despite a number of high-quality EU and Member State initiatives and measures, not enough is being done to successfully prevent young people from succumbing to the lure of violent extremism, the EESC says
Initiatives from Greece, Belgium, Italy and Spain are awarded the other prizes
The five winning initiatives show what is being done by numerous NGOs across Europe to help some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in society enter the labour market.
Future of Europe: the EESC engages itself in the debate and takes stance.
The EESC is actively engaged in the current debate on the future of Europe with a view to...
5 organisations are awarded the 2017 EESC Civil Society Prize
The EESC is pleased to announce the five winners of the 9th edition of the Civil Society Prize,...
The 2030 UN Agenda, or the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, will be one of the top global priorities over the next 15 years, yet it received very little mention in the Commission Communication "Trade for all". Trade is specifically mentioned with regard to nine SDGs (but only once in the MDGs). UNCTAD estimate that, to meet the 17 goals and the 169 targets, at least an extra US$2.5 trillion a year will need to be found - effectively from the private sector.
The opinion deals with the prevention of "radicalisation" of young people. For the purpose of this opinion, radicalisation is understood as a process through which individuals or groups become extremists eventually using, promoting or advocating violence for their aims. The opinion highlights activities undertaken by civil society and calls for continuing to work on a coherent EU-concept, including sustainable and effective European support, funding and coordination.
Given the current and future threats to access social security faced by people in the new forms of work, the EESC recommends that the Member States and European courts regulate these new forms of employment. Member States should consider linking up the electronic systems of their health and pension insurance schemes with those of their tax administrations and making it mandatory that individuals generating professional income pay contributions.
The EESC believes that income and wealth inequalities in the EU have become economic and social challenges that should be addressed with appropriate measures at national level and with the support of EU-level action.
The EESC thinks the "work-life balance" package is a step in the right direction, to be further analysed and be improved in the future. Social partners throughout Europe should be encouraged to examine additional practical solutions to promote a work-life balance that suits the specificities of workplaces, particularly in SMEs. Moreover, there is need for investment in high-quality, affordable and available care services and facilities for all families, as well as for tax deductions that help working parents to continue working.
The own-initiative opinion, prepared by the EESC Permanent Study Group on Sustainable Food Systems, will aim to identify existing challenges, policy inconsistencies and obstacles to a more coherent food policy approach at EU level; to provide examples of ongoing transitions to more sustainable food policies at local/regional/national level; to highlight the role of civil society in building partnerships among stakeholders across the food supply chain; and to define how a comprehensive food policy for the EU should look, including an indicative roadmap.
The EESC welcomes the fact that the ESC promotes awareness of European citizenship. It expresses its satisfaction that priorities highlighted by CSOs were included in the legal basis, but believes that youth organisations (YO) and social partners must be involved in its co-management. Is very concerned by the merging of its goals with those of employment policies. It asks that better preparation is provided, also for the disadvantaged, before placement, and demands that more "fresh money" is invested in it.
The EESC is in favour of creating a Pan-European personal pension product – PEPP but is unclear as to whether the investment arising from this initiative will remain within the EU and on the impact on labour mobility across the EU. Every effort, by way of tax relief, should be provided to encourage as many workers as possible to take up personal pension products. The EESC emphasises the need for consumer protection and risk mitigation for savers during the course of their working lives and on retirement.
This opinion is part of a wider package of four EESC opinions on the future of the European economy (Deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union and Euro area economic policy, Capital Markets Union and The future of EU finances). The package of opinions underscores the need for a common sense of purpose in the Union governance, which goes far beyond technical approaches and measures, and is first and foremost a matter of political will and a common perspective. Europeans need more (and better) Europe, not less Europe, in order to overcome the political crisis in the EU.
This opinion is part of a wider package of four EESC opinions on the future of the European economy (Deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union and Euro area economic policy, Capital Markets Union and The future of EU finances). The package of opinions underscores the need for a common sense of purpose in the Union governance, which goes far beyond technical approaches and measures, and is first and foremost a matter of political will and a common perspective.