528th Plenary Session including a debate with Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the Committee of the Regions, on Thursday 21 September at 9.30 a.m. (time to be confirmed), and a debate on the state of the Union, with Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, on Thursday 21 September at 11 a.m.
Concerns over the social costs and the financing of the energy transition ran through all panel discussions at the EESC's European Energy Dialogue, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels on 7 September.
IN THIS ISSUE: Fake products cost the EU 800 000 jobs annually; The EESC’s contribution to the European Commission’s 2018 work programme; The EU needs to tackle the issue of ship-breaking; EESC calls for long-term action plan for social economy by 2018.
EESC sounds the alarm and blames Commission and Member States for lack of political will. The EESC sounds the alarm amid a summer of heavy storms, landslides and other freak weather events. Several EESC proposals for the better protection of nature have been met with no reaction from the Commission or the Member States so far.
The rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs) should be included in the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global compact for Migration, the two intergovernmental agreements covering the international response to refugees and migrations, it was suggested at an event held on the margins of the Conference of State Parties to the CRPD (COSP) co-hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).
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...
The 2017 prize will reward innovative initiatives carried out by civil society organisations and/or individuals and which aim at the labour market integration of newcomers and all the people who...
The Commission has identified three main strands of further work to move a step closer to a genuine Single Market for financial services:
Increase consumer trust and empower consumers when buying services at home or from other Member States.
Reduce legal and regulatory obstacles affecting businesses when seeking to expand abroad.
Support the development of an innovative digital world which can overcome some of the existing barriers to the Single Market.
Many atypical forms of work are now being developed and the associated social risks should be dealt with by means of coordinated efforts by all stakeholders. Automation and robots are having an increasing impact on work. While they have the potential to stabilise the economy in an ageing society, they are also affecting jobs: it is therefore essential that social dialogue on this point takes place at an early stage. In future, lifelong learning and professional training will be a necessity for everyone, but long-term developments can best be tackled through general education.
At this time of far-reaching changes in the world of work, the key objectives and principles of social dialogue and collective bargaining still hold true. Their role is not to oppose changes, but to steer them for reaping the full benefits, whilst ensuring that fundamental workers' rights can still be asserted. There is a need for participative management, for collective rules to be drawn up, for the adaptation of social dialogue and to find innovative responses. Digitalisation and its effects on work is a priority
The Committee calls on the Member States to step up their efforts in combatting aggressive tax planning, along with tax avoidance that could lead to significant losses of revenue for Member States' budgets. The EESC believes that the harmonisation and simplification of tax rules should be a priority for the Member States and that the elimination of tax barriers should go hand in hand with these harmonisation efforts.
The EESC believes that equal access to healthcare, one of the main objectives of health policies, can benefit from digital support provided certain conditions are met:
The EESC highlights the need to:
The EESC endorses the aims of the Commission proposals in the area of the CCCTB and recommends the greatest efforts be made to pursue the CCCTB by consensus. The Committee recognizes that the Commission relaunched the CCCTB proposal both with the objective to aid the single market and to combat aggressive tax planning, attributing income where the value is created.
In its Opinion, the EESC draws attention to significant inefficiencies still existing in both the formulation and implementation of SME policies, warns against a bureaucratic approach still prevalent in EU policies and calls for a visible, coordinated and consistent horizontal policy for SMEs, based on a multiannual action plan. The EESC also proposes that the Commission assess whether the current definition of SMEs corresponds to their heterogeneity, sectoral dynamics, specific features and diversity during the last decade.
In its opinion the EESC underlines that the social economy is a key player and helps to achieve the objectives of all European policies with an external dimension: external and security policy, trade policy, neighbourhood policy, climate change policy, development cooperation and sustainable development policy. However, the lack of an appropriate regulatory environment, at both European and national level, prevents this sector from developing its full potential and maximising its impact.