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The EU must become the world leader in meeting SDGs

EESC conference highlights the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) great potential for business, environment and citizens

The EU needs to do more. It has to grab the unique chance of implementing the SDGs and transform the challenges into opportunities for businesses and industry, agriculture and food production, helping to fight climate change and becoming a more equal society.

This is the bottom line of a two-day conference on The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: A new frontier of rights and progress for the EU held in Brussels ...

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  • 23 May 2017
    VAT- derogation - reverse charge Ongoing References: ECO/428 Referral - Rapporteur: Giuseppe GUERINI (Various interests - GR III / Italy)

    The EESC supports the measures that the European Union has put in place to tackle all forms of tax fraud and takes the view that the reverse charge mechanism for collecting value added tax (VAT) may be a useful tool in countering carousel fraud and VAT evasion. However, the use of the reverse charge mechanism, which is a derogation from the established principles on VAT, must not be allowed to harm the internal market and it must be temporary and properly assessed by the Commission.

    The Committee furthermore recommends focusing particular attention on the proportionality principle, as the cost of compliance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) related to introducing a reverse charge mechanism could be considerable.

  • 23 May 2017
    Erasmus+ mid-term evaluation Ongoing References: SOC/552 Referral Rapporteur: Vareikytė (Various interests - GR III / Lithuania) Co-rapporteur: Babrauskienė (Workers - GR II / Lithuania)

    The EESC has been asked by the European Commission to contribute to the EC's mid-term evaluation of the Erasmus+ programme. In this context, two questionnaires were widely disseminated by the EESC in the member states and four fact-finding missions have been organised. The EESC also held an expert hearing to collect the views of specialised civil society organisations. An information report has been drafted containing the results of this exercise, accompanied by a detailed technical appendix containing important data on the awareness and perception of the programme. The aim of this evaluation was to provide information to the EC on the experience of civil society organisations with the enlarged and improved programme.

    According to the information report it is necessary: to better disseminate information and to increase awareness within national political circles; to review the lump sum system and travel rates; to recognize the experiences acquired; to improve the participation of civil society at the programme management level; and to ensure that background, disability or geographical location are not obstacles to participation.

  • 23 May 2017
    Artificial intelligence Ongoing References: INT/806 Own-initiative Rapporteur: Ms Catelijne Muller (Workers - GR II / Netherlands)

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies offer great potential for creating new and innovative solutions to improve peoples lives, grow the economy, and address challenges in health and wellbeing, climate change, safety and security.

    Like any disruptive technology, however, AI carries risks and presents complex societal challenges in several areas such as labour, safety, privacy, ethics, skills and so on.

    A broad approach towards AI, covering all its effects (good and bad) on society as a whole, is crucial. Especially in a time where developments are accellerating.

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  • Issue Date: May 2017
    EESC info May 2017

    IN THIS ISSUE: Can Dündar: “Do not leave Turkey alone. Erdogan is not Turkey”; EESC consults EU civil societyon White Paper on the Future of Europe; EESC proposes stakeholder platform to increase women’s employability in transport; Georges Dassis: “When we practise solidarity we can leave a trace in history”

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