525th Plenary Session including the following events:
Debate with Can Dündar, a Turkish journalist nominated for the 2016 Sakharov Prize, on Wednesday 26 April at 3 p.m.
Debate with Professor Dusan Sidjanski, honorary chairman of the European Cultural Centre, on Wednesday 26 April at 4.30 p.m.
Debate with Maroš Šefčovič, vice-president of the European Commission responsible for the Energy Union, on Thursday 27 April at 10.30 a.m.
President Juncker stressed in his 2016 State of the Union Speech the need for a Europe that protects, empowers and defends. Taking greater responsibility for their security means that Europeans must invest in the development of key defence capabilities to be able to deter, respond and protect themselves against external threats. The European Union must demonstrate that it can act as a provider of hard as well as soft security, addressing calls for greater solidarity in security and defence. The Bratislava roadmap, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have also recently underlined this priority.
The EESC welcomes the "clean energy" package, which aims to accelerate, transform and consolidate the EU economy's clean energy transition, while pursuing the important goals of economic growth and job creation. The proposed package includes important proposals in the areas of renewable energies and electricity market design and regulation, energy efficiency and energy performance of buildings, energy innovations, transport, and governance – and the Committee views many of the initiatives favourably. However, the opinion – drawing on nine other opinions concerned with the individual proposals of the clean energy package – also identifies a number of challenges that civil society and co-legislators need to be aware of.
The EESC proposes an EU Platform For Change ("Platform"), to address gender equality in transport, initially prioritising increasing women's employability in the sector. This initial objective could later be supplemented by including "women as users". Membership could include, but not exclusively, EU- and national-level representative bodies of policy makers, the transport industries, their trade unions, media, passenger organisations and NGOs willing to commit to concrete actions to address gender inequality in transport.
IN THIS ISSUE: Insolvency legislation should treat businesses as a social asset; Efficient, WTO-compatible and up-to-date TDIs are pivotal for the competitiveness of European industry; Digital Single Market: consumer protection must be top priority; Big data: how to minimise risks while maximising benefits for all