23 Oct 2013 Ref: 64/2013 Europe needs a social response - Will the EU meet the challenge?84 million Europeans live below the poverty line and 26 million are unemployed. The economic and financial crisis has turned into a social and democratic one and only 31% of Europeans trust the EU. Is the EU ready to respond to its citizens' expectations and concerns?
21 Oct 2013 Ref: 63/2013 Ahead of the European Council meeting of 24-25 October, the EESC opposes a merely declaratory policyThe European Economic and Social Committee has met the European Council president, Herman Van Rompuy, ahead of the upcoming summit on 24 and 25 October. Underlining the weight of Europeans' expectations in the field of economic and social policies, the Committee expressed its expectations of tangible and rapid achievements that would enable Europe to restore public confidence.
Ahead of the European Council meeting of 24-25 October, the EESC opposes a merely declaratory policy
18 Oct 2013 Ref: 62/2013 EESC calls for a coherent EU policy on immigrationAt its plenary session in Brussels yesterday, in the wake of the Lampedusa disaster, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) made a loud and clear call for a coherent EU immigration policy based on burden-sharing. With an own-initiative opinion, the EESC reiterated its already well-established position on this issue: irregular immigration into the EU is a European problem that can only be solved by European means.
17 Oct 2013 Ref: 61/2013 The EESC calls for a total ban on planned obsolescenceFor the first time, an EU institution is looking into the positive aspects of a total ban on planned obsolescence: more jobs, better consumer protection and a boost to sustainable development. The EESC has today issued an opinion on product lifetimes and consumer information to combat the business strategy of obsolescence.
16 Oct 2013 Ref: 60/2013 Universal broadband key to economic growth in EuropeEU budget cuts may mean that Europe falls behind on technological advances already achieved in the telecoms sector, warns the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in its critical assessment of the European Commission's revised proposal for telecoms networks in Europe.
7 Oct 2013 Ref: 58/2013 EESC position on the EU tobacco reviewEmploying almost 1.5 million people in the EU, the tobacco sector promotes rural and economic development and is one of the few major export sectors to still maintain a positive balance, both at the European level and in many member states.
"We have to stop young people from starting smoking in the first place. There's no doubt about it, health is the priority. We need to educate them about the awful effects of smoking. But tighter regulation is not the solution. While it may cut the number of smokers, smuggling and counterfeiting will become an even greater problem. Tax revenues will also fall sharply. We have to consider the impact on the economy. A lot of jobs will be at risk if the current proposal goes into force. We cannot afford that, especially at a time of crisis", stated José Isaías Rodríguez García-Caro, rapporteur of the EESC opinion on "Manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products. "Health and economic considerations must both be considered."
20 Sep 2013 Ref: 57/2013 Water is a human right: the success story of a European Citizens' InitiativeEU institutions and Member States must ensure that all residents have access to water and sanitation; water supply and the management of water resources must be shielded from liberalisation and not be subject to single market rules. This was the key message of the report on the European Citizens' Initiative on water and sanitation presented yesterday to the plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee.