This study, carried out to support the activities of the EESC, explores the ethical dimensions of Big Data in an attempt to balance them with the need for economic growth within the EU.
For the eighth year in succession, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) will be organizing a civil society media seminar for communication experts and national and international media specialists. This year's event will be held at the Palazzo Reale di Milano, from 27 to 28 November 2014.
The main theme of the 2014 seminar will be "European media and informed citizenship" which will be discussed in four panels, focusing on the following issues:
• The EU in the news: generating interest and citizen engagement
• The EU and the media in neighbouring countries
• Connecting citizens, the media and the EU in a digital society
• EP elections 2014 – "This time it was different"
On the 6th november 2014, the European Economic and Social Committee unanimously adopted its contribution to the European Commission's 2015 work programme. This 15-page document is full of very specific proposals and suggestions for improvement, and clearly sets out the areas where civil society expects the new team heading the Commission to be active in the coming year.
As part of a cooperation agreement, the European Economic and Social Committee undertook to send the president of the European Commission a contribution to his work programme, in order to highlight in advance what the priorities were for civil society stakeholders as a whole. This document thus represents the culmination of a series of discussions and consultations that revealed the primary expectations of the people of Europe
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is the biggest and most ambitious free trade agreement currently being negotiated by the European Union. Economists believe that an agreement with the USA will be advantageous for both the European Union and the USA, and the negative effects of trade liberalisation will be insignificant. This publication is a summary of the debate on "What development opportunities does the TTIP bring to Europe?" that was held in Sopot on 2 October 2014 as part of the European Forum for New Ideas. The participants were discussing which aspects of the US-EU agreement offer the greatest potential for European businesses, what the potential dangers of the TTIP are for European businesses and how to avoid them.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the EU economy. According to Commission estimates, the overall contribution of SMEs to EU-27 value added was more than 57% (EUR 3.4 trillion) in 2012. Although the role of SMEs in the EU economy is crucial and their well being should be a priority for European policymakers, they struggle with access to finance, especially in the countries severely hit by the crisis. The Greek experience can and should be taken as a case study and conclusions drawn on how to improve the system for the future. The publication summarises the discussion on access to finance for SMEs that took place in April 2014 during the extraordinary meeting of the Employers' Group in Kyllini, Greece.
In 2004 the European Union experienced its biggest enlargement so far, welcoming 10 new Member States. A decade later, members of the Employers' Group representing employers' organisations from these countries summarise the changes that have taken place thanks to accession to the EU.
Following the event in Strasbourg, the EESC has launched the Social Enterprise Project to identify policy ideas and specific measures that can be taken.
Throughout the project, the EESC has gathered valuable input from people working in field across Europe, and met with stakeholders at local, regional, national and European level across sectors. There is a width and breadth of knowledge and experiences to be listened to and acted on. The social enterprise community of supporters is clearly expanding, and there appears to be a common view on what the EU institutions' key priorities should be for the coming years if we are to fully unleash the potential for social enterprise in European societies. This stakeholder input is the foundation of this report and has been summarised in the form of recommendations and observations.
This study was carried out by the European Centre for Liberal Professions following a call for tenders launched by the European Economic and Social Committee
Energy is crucial for modern societies; the development of the economy is directly linked to its price and availability.
Today, Europe is highly dependent on external energy resources; in 2012 90% of its energy was imported. Yet the various political crises throughout the world (Ukraine, Iraq) remind us that this dependence makes Europe very vulnerable.
In order to minimise the effects of this, Europe must rely on a true energy mix. Diversification, both in terms of geography and energy sources, is crucial.
This publication is part of a series of catalogues published in the context of the exhibitions organized by the EESC.
This publication is a part of a series of catalogues published in the context of the exhibitions organized by the EESC.