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.
Green Infrastructure enables nature to deliver a variety of benefits to ecosystems and people, including for jobs, growth, health and quality of life. Many success cases show the value of investing in Green Infrastructure. This conference is co-organised by the European Commission (DG ENV), the EESC and the CoR in cooperation with European Parliaments intergroups.
Commissioner Karmenu Vella will present progress in the European Commission's Green Infrastructure strategy. Members of both Committees, policy makers, businesses, civil society and authorities will contribute with their views. It will also present best practices on how local and regional authorities as well as participative planning processes can boost the social, economic and environmental benefits from Green Infrastructure to European citizens.
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.