Opinions from the REX section - page 1

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  • 28 Apr 2016
    The external dimension of the EU's energy policy Adopted References: REX/459 EESC-2016-83 Exploratory Opinion Rapporteur: Mr Vitas MACIULIS (Various interests - GR III / Lithuania) Plenary Session: 516 - 27 Apr 2016 - 28 Apr 2016

    The EESC already produced an opinion on the same topic in January 2009 (see 'Related EESC Opinions'), but the geo-political developments over the past 7 years (Arab spring, increased tensions with Russia over the Eastern Partnership, crises in the Middle East, fluctuating oil prices) and other economic and technical factors (level of oil prices, new LNG terminals, debate around fracking, etc.) suggest a revision of this opinion.

    **************The opinion is being translated - available soon*******************

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    The external dimension of the EU's energy policy

  • 28 Apr 2016
    EESC opinion: The new EU strategy on foreign and security policy Adopted References: REX/463-REX/463 Own-initiative Rapporteur: José María Zufiaur Narvaiza (Workers - GR II / Spain) Plenary Session: 516 - 27 Apr 2016 - 28 Apr 2016

    With this Opinion, the EESC wishes to weigh in on the new EU Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, which is expected to be presented to the Council before the summer. The rapporteur argues that internal and external policy are intertwined and both require better coordination of policies, objectives and resources. Social exclusion today is a key factor in crises, and the EU must be a defender of equality and a promoter of freedom, security and prosperity.

    The Opinion goes on to address the wide range and crucial nature of topics that the new strategy will cover, such as resource allocation to foreign and defense policy, the EU's role as a constructive and regulatory power, the refugee crisis, development cooperation, or trade.

    Finally, the rapporteur calls on an increased participation of civil society in the EU's foreign policy, proposing the establishment of a formal cooperation between the EESC and the EEAS, an annual foreign a security policy audition with the High Representative, and carrying out an evaluation report on the participation of civil society in the EU's external policy.

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    EESC section opinion: The new EU strategy on foreign and security policy

  • 27 Apr 2016
    Access of third country goods and services to the European Union's internal market in public procurement Adopted References: REX/465 Referral Rapporteur: Mr Mario Soares (Workers - GR II / Portugal)

    The proposal on an International Procurement Instrument (IPI) is the EU response to the lack of a level playing field in world procurement markets. While our public procurement market is open to foreign bidders, the procurement markets for foreign goods and services in third countries remain to a large extent closed de iure or de facto. The IPI aims at encouraging partners to engage in negotiations and opening participation for EU bidders and goods in third countries' tenders. A first proposal on this issue was made in 2012 (COM(2012) 124 final) but there was no agreement in the Council. The new Commission proposal incorporates some of the changes requested from the European Parliament and tries to reply to some of the concerns expressed in the Council. A number of Member States have expressed reservations as regards the principle of closing the EU market for goods and services originating in certain third countries, even if only temporarily and in a targeted way. Several Member States also underlined concerns regarding the administrative burden imposed by the proposal on contracting authorities and on businesses.

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    Access of third country goods and services to the European Union's internal market in public procurement

  • 26 Apr 2016
    Cooperation with third countries in promoting regular migration to the EU Ongoing References: REX/460 Rapporteur: Dimitris Dimitriadis (Employers - GR I / Greece) Co-rapporteur: Jean-Marc Roirant (Various interests - GR III / France)

    This report follows the conclusion of the recent Euro-Mediterranean Summit of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions on cooperation with third countries in promoting regular migration to the EU and will be presented at the 2016 Euromed Summit. Cooperation with countries of origin and international bodies to increase transit possibilities for regular migrants to the EU is the most effective way of combating the illicit trafficking of people and meeting the need for workers in EU countries. The aim of the information report is to define the pillars that can facilitate cooperation on regular migration and ascertain what experience has been gained from labour migration agreements with countries of origin and from the ways in which the Member States manage recruitment abroad.

  • 15 Apr 2016
    Trade for All – Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy Adopted References: REX/449 Own-initiative Rapporteur: Mr Jonathan Peel (Employers - GR I / United Kingdom)

    The European Commission review of EU trade strategy is timely in the first year of a new Commission.


    The intense public interest that has been aroused by the TTIP negotiations between the EU and the US demonstrates that trade is no longer an esoteric matter nor the concern of those few who are sufficiently involved to master the finer, highly technical detail that trade involves. It is now a popular issue and part of the public agenda, but because of its technicalities it is also open to wide misunderstanding.

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    Trade for All – Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy

  • 1 Feb 2016
    Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy Ongoing References: REX/458 Rapporteur: Andrzej Adamczyk (Workers - GR II / Poland) Co-rapporteur: Gintaras Morkis (Employers - GR I / Lithuania)
  • 21 Jan 2016
    The 2030 Agenda - European Union committed to sustainable development goals globally Ongoing References: REX/461 Own-initiative Rapporteur: Ioannis Vardakastanis (Various interests - GR III / Greece)

    The 2030 Agenda is an action plan for people, planet and prosperity. It sets 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets in order to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve. The targets seek to ensure everyone's human rights and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible, and they balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. They are also to be implemented according to the principle of "leaving no-one behind".


    The own-initiative opinion will approach the 2030 Agenda by focusing on how the EU could contribute by using its external action instruments that are linked to funding; on the EU's contribution to defining indicators; on coordination mechanisms and the involvement of civil society; and on the implications for the EU of implementing the principle of "leaving no-one behind".

  • 19 Jan 2016
    Decent work in global supply chains Ongoing References: REX/462 Rapporteur: Ms Emmanuelle Butaud-Stubbs (Employers - GR I / France)

    The opinion will serve as a contribution by the EESC to the general discussion on decent work in global supply chains (GSCs) planned for the June 2016 International Labour Conference of the International Labour Organisation in Geneva. It will also contribute to the EU debate. The current EU Dutch Presidency (the first semester of 2016), as well as the European Commission (in the EU trade and investment strategy "Trade for all") put an emphasis on responsible management of GSCs, which includes respect for human rights, labour and environmental standards.

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    Decent work in global supply chains

  • 19 Jan 2016
    The position of the EESC on specific key issues of the TTIP Ongoing References: REX/464 Own-initiative Rapporteur: Mr Philippe de Buck (Employers - GR I / Belgium) Co-rapporteur: Ms Tanja Buzek (Workers - GR II / Germany)

    The EESC has played an important role in strengthening an informed civil society debate on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) through a number of TTIP-related opinions, adopted in 2014 and 2015, covering issues such as labour rights, investment protection, impact on SMEs, among others.

    It is important under the present circumstances that the EESC, in order to maintain its position as a key civil society player in the TTIP debate, react to the textual proposals for TTIP negotiations on essential topics such as the sustainable development chapter, regulatory cooperation, investment and services. This will have the advantage not only of setting up the EESC position on major negotiating chapters but also of presenting concrete recommendations and pointing out the need to involve civil society in the implementation of those chapters.

    The opinion would serve primarily as the EESC contribution to the discussions on the main topics of interest in the TTIP negotiations. Additionally, a balanced and in-depth opinion from the EESC would contribute to fostering a more informed debate on key TTIP issues.

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    The position of the EESC on specific key issues of the TTIP

  • 10 Dec 2015
    EU Action Plan against migrant smuggling (2015-2020) Adopted References: REX/452 EESC-2015 Referral - Rapporteur: Ms Brenda King (Employers - GR I / United Kingdom) Plenary Session: 512 - 9 Dec 2015 - 10 Dec 2015 (Summary Plenary Session)

    The EESC welcomes the stated aims of the EU Action Plan against migrant smuggling , namely "to counter and prevent migrant smuggling, while ensuring the protection of human rights of migrants" and "to address the root causes of irregular migration", and supports the Action Plan's efforts to disrupt organised criminal networks through intelligence-led and financial investigations, to put an end to money laundering and to confiscate the assets of illicit activities. However it strongly recommends that the plan adopts a more balanced and comprehensive approach by detailing how the EU will protect and assist those who are smuggled.

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    EU Action Plan against migrant smuggling (2015-2020)

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  • Published In: 2016
    6 pages
    Employers’ Group of the EESC Political Priorities 2016-2018 What business believes in!

    The publication elaborates on the Employers' Group priorities for 2016-18, which include a stronger culture of entrepreneurship, a full completion of the Internal Market, an efficient and forward-looking industrial policy, competitiveness for more employment and a strong role of Europe in the world. These are the principles that the Group will champion during the 2016-2018 period in order to promote a more dynamic and competitive future for a EU that generates growth, jobs and new investments.

  • Published In: 2015
    8 pages
    The Eastern Partnership - we mean business

    The European Economic and Social Committee has been an ardent supporter of the Eastern Partnership from the very outset and the EESC's Employers' Group has continually emphasised the need to strengthen the partnership's economic dimension. An appropriate tool was needed to enable the representatives of employers, entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises from the EU and its partner countries to meet and openly assess the process of convergence with the European acquis and its impact on the economic situation. This publication gathers the contributions from the organisers and strategic partners of the 3rd Eastern Partnership Business Forum, that took place in May 2015 in Riga, Latvia.

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