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Wind of Change at the European Economic and Social Committee

10 Jul 2013
Ref: 50/2013

The Committee relies on the new powers conferred to it by the Lisbon Treaty, aimed at strengthening participatory democracy and civil dialogue. Its Bureau met on Tuesday, July 9, and decided on a plan of major structural reforms.

This reform of the working methods will have a major impact on the upstream decision making process. This will allow the Committee to adopt a mechanism of anticipation and identification of priorities in order to focus its work on real concerns in the field.

But the EESC also wants to play a follow up role, in the context of the evaluation of the Community legislation. This is why the Observatories of the Committee will now concentrate their resources on the production of impact assessments, and the EESC will soon be launching a study on the economic and social impact of the Services Directive. The Committee will also be able to implement the concrete ideas it proposes; notably, a project is to be launched against food waste in the European Union.

It is in this new context that the EESC adopted its contribution to the 2014 work program of the European Commission. Among the measures adopted, the Committee is requesting to develop projects related to citizens' expectations:

  • a European action plan for learning based on existing good practice,
  • the creation of Social Eurobonds to finance enterprises or social projects,
  • a feasibility study of a European anti-poverty fund,
  • strengthening of the Small Business Act with innovative financial instruments for SMEs such as microfinance, crowdfunding or mezzanine financing.

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