As the media sphere is shifting towards digital services, commercial organizations, many of them based outside the EU, are more and more able to decide upon which kind of content and which sort of communication constitute the public sphere. These developments have profound implications for us in terms of press plurality and individual rights.
The European economic governance rules, conceived in crisis, played an important role in fiscal consolidation and economic policy coordination, but the cost was high in terms of growth and employment. The quantitative easing measures now being embarked upon by the European Central Bank need to be matched by greater political initiatives by the Member States. In the review of the Multiannual Financial Framework in 2016, there is a need to back urgent structural reforms of common EU interest with some form of fiscal capacity. A reasonable deviation from the 3% deficit parameter should be considered as a temporary exception for a given number of years and not be automatically liable to sanctions. A lack of implementation of country-specific recommendations (CSRs) could be countered by real involvement of civil society and the social partners in drawing up CSRs.
TTYPE project publishes final report for the European Commission with a set of recommendations and a high level design for a cross-border European tracking service.
The TTYPE project (Track and Trace Your Pension in Europe) handed over its report on the roadmap towards creating a general pension tracking service in Europe to the European Commission after it had been presented at a conference, organised together with the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels. It shows that it is feasible to establish a cross-border pension tracking service to the benefit of not only mobile workers wanting to keep track of their pension entitlements but also to the benefit of pension providers who need to keep in contact with their beneficiaries. The final report from the TTYPE project gives a set of detailed recommendations on how to achieve this and what methods to use.
"Whether we are talking about combatting depopulation in rural areas, creating employment through social enterprises or focussing on community-led development, the message is the same: We need to build up local capacities, mobilise the grassroots and civil society organisations, propose innovative and integrated approaches and build up alliances. Above all, we must empower local organisations and give them ownership of the process". With these words of Mr Jahier, President of the Various Interests Group of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), opened the conference on 'Economic Growth and Social Progress in Rural and Urban Areas', which was organised by his group in Riga on 25 March.
Promoting the involvement of economic and social actors in development cooperation
Economic and social actors and other civil society organisations can contribute, through their expertise and involvement, to the current and future challenges of development cooperation policy and be active partners for the European Institutions in creating a more coordinated, inclusive and efficient development policy.
IN THIS ISSUE: President Jean-Claude Juncker at the EESC plenary session: the European Commission and the EESC, working hand in hand to deliver solutions for Europe; Time for action - reviewed 2020 strategy needs to be implemented; Cooperative and savings banks: another essential way of doing business; Good farming – good environment – good food – good health – good life.