Opinions from the REX section - page 1

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  • 7 Apr 2017
    REX/488 - The new context for EU-CELAC strategic relations and the role of civil society Ongoing References: REX/488 Own-initiative Rapporteur: Mário Soares (Workers - GR II / Portugal) Co-rapporteur: Josep Puxeu Rocamora (Employers - GR I / Spain)

    Related Sections

    REX Section

    Related Sub Themes

    Latin America
  • 29 Mar 2017
    International ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans Adopted References: REX/482 EESC-2016 Referral - Rapporteur: Jan Simons (Employers - GR I / Netherlands) Plenary Session: 524 - 29 Mar 2017 - 30 Mar 2017

    Key points:

     

    • The EESC welcomes the joint communication by the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on improved ocean governance, and shares the growing concern about the need for better governance and protection of the oceans due to increased human activity (unsustainable fishing, inadequate protection, tourism, heavy traffic, pollution).
    • The EESC believes that the current framework for international ocean governance is unable to ensure the sustainable management of oceans and their resources, and urgent action is imperative. However, the Commission and the High Representative still need to prioritise the threats currently faced by our oceans in order to adequately reflect the urgent need for action.
    • One of the causes of ineffective international ocean governance is the existence of gaps in the current international ocean governance framework. The EESC recommends that the Commission and High Representative address these gaps and inconsistencies, but also that they increase compliance with existing rules, for example by improving the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The EU should refrain from proposing any new legislation when better or more coordinated implementation of existing rules and regulations would be more efficient.
    • The EESC believes that the EU could play an important role in improving the governance of our oceans, especially in supporting scientific research into the world’s oceans. Good and effective use must be made of currently available data. The Committee therefore strongly encourages the EU to develop the Marine Observation and Data Network into a worldwide marine data network. The EU could become a centre of coordination for such research.
    • Furthermore, the EESC urges the EU to work with partner countries to reduce maritime security threats and risks, such as piracy and trafficking in human beings, arms and narcotics, while capitalising on the new European Border and Coastguard Agency, the EU Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA).
    • The EESC strongly encourages the establishment of an EU Stakeholder forum dedicated to oceans and seas worldwide, especially since ocean governance is a cross-cutting issue involving a number of stakeholders.
    • The EESC believes that ocean governance should balance socio-economic development and marine conservation. Technologies for the exploitation of seabed resources need to be used with care and caution.
    • Last but not least, the EESC notes that the joint communication actions address the governance of both oceans and seas, and therefore suggests that the title of the joint communication be changed to "an agenda for the future of our oceans and seas".

    Related Documents

    International ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans

    Related Sections

    REX Section

    Related Themes

    External Relations - the rest of the world, Agriculture and Environment

    Related Sub Themes

    Environment & Sustainability, Environment, Sustainable development, Water
  • 29 Mar 2017
    REX/483 - Trade Defence Instruments – methodology Adopted References: REX/483 EESC-2017 Referral Rapporteur: Christian Bäumler (Workers - GR II / Germany) Co-rapporteur: Andrés Barceló Delgado (Employers - GR I / Spain) Plenary Session: 524 - 29 Mar 2017 - 30 Mar 2017

    Key points:

     

    The EESC is committed to open and fair trade and recognises its value as a driver of growth and jobs.

    Therefore, the EESC calls for a level playing field between European and third country exporting producers, and for effective trade defence instruments.

     

    The EESC takes the view that, overall, the Commission's proposal provides a balanced approach between the issue of China's market economy status, on the one hand, and the goal of having an effective dumping calculation method, on the other.

     

    The EESC supports the Commission's proposal that the dumping margin should be calculated not using the standard methodology, but on the basis of benchmarks that take account of significantly distorted production and sale costs. The EESC points out that in its 2016 opinion on preserving sustainable jobs and growth in the steel industry, it already called for the standard methodology not to be used in anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into Chinese imports as long as the country failed to meet the EU's five criteria for market economy status.

     

    The EESC welcomes the Commission's intention of using specific criteria to determine whether there are significant distortions in the market situation. The Committee notes that the respect of ILO standards and of Multilateral Environment Agreements should also be considered.

     

    The EESC calls on the Parliament and the Council to clearly state that the Commission will issue specific country reports for every country with significant market distortions.

     

    The EESC notes, however, that there is still room for improvement in the Commission's proposal to amend the basic anti-dumping regulation in terms of the effectiveness and practicability of the anti-dumping investigation process (legal status, feasibility and pertinence of the proposed reports), and particularly with regard to the burden of proof, which should not be shifted onto the European industry.

     

    In addition, the EESC stresses that the anti-dumping complaints procedure must also be accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises. The Committee also notes that the efficiency of trade defence instrument (TDI) procedures is also linked to the 2013 proposal to modernise TDI, including the lesser duty rule. The EESC insists that it is crucially important for the TDI modernisation package to also be finalised and adopted in the coming months in order to produce a robust and effective trade defence system and to secure jobs and growth in the EU.

    Related Documents

    EESC opinion: REX/483 - Trade Defence Instruments – methodology

    Related Sections

    REX Section

    Related Sub Themes

    International Trade

    Related Events

    Plenary Session 29-30 March 2017
  • 28 Feb 2017
    REX/477 - Establishing the EFSD Guarantee and the EFSD Guarantee Fund Adopted References: REX/477 Referral - Rapporteur: Jan Simons (Employers - GR I / Netherlands) Plenary Session: 523 - 22 Feb 2017 - 23 Feb 2017

    The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomes the establishment of the European External Investment Plan (EIP) and the proposal for a Regulation on the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) and establishing the EFSD Guarantee and the EFSD Guarantee Fund as steps in the right direction towards tackling the causes of irregular migration at its roots. The eradication of poverty is also a goal on which the EFSD should focus. The Committee calls for a particular focus on resolving the situation in the countries that are the main source of migration where economic, social and security conditions have led to economic devastation and spiralling poverty while blocking any efforts towards sustainable development.

    Related Documents

    Establishing the EFSD Guarantee and the EFSD Guarantee Fund

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    REX Section
  • 23 Feb 2017
    The core role of trade and investment in meeting and implementing the SDGs Ongoing References: REX/486 Own-initiative Rapporteur: Jonathan Peel (Employers - GR I / United Kingdom) Co-rapporteur: Christophe Quarez (Workers - GR II / France)

    The 2030 UN Agenda, or the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, will be one of the top global priorities over the next 15 years, yet it received very little mention in the Commission Communication "Trade for all". Trade is specifically mentioned with regard to nine SDGs (but only once in the MDGs). UNCTAD estimate that, to meet the 17 goals and the 169 targets, at least an extra US$2.5 trillion a year will need to be found - effectively from the private sector. This opinion would seek to look into this further and aim to evaluate how much of that will need to come through trade and investment.

    Also, in the current climate, in which free trade agreement negotiations are being called into question and civil society representatives have lost confidence in these agreements, it is time to reflect upon the extent to which social and environmental aspects are being incorporated into free trade agreements and how this might change in the future. A critical evaluation is needed not only of the progress that has already been made, but particularly of the limitations of the chapters on sustainable development that are in the existing agreements. Likewise, proposals aimed at incorporating genuine social and environmental clauses as an integral and binding part of the agreement should be formulated with the aim of mobilising support for a new generation of free trade agreements among large swathes of civil society. Progressive trade agreements should ensure support for the implementation of SDGs.

  • 15 Feb 2017
    EESC Opinion - Establishing a new Partnership Framework with third countries under the European Agenda on Migration Adopted References: REX/478 Referral - Rapporteur: Cristian Pîrvulescu (Various interests - GR III / Romania) Plenary Session: 523 - 22 Feb 2017 - 23 Feb 2017

    The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) believes that the European Agenda on Migration should be designed so as to take into full consideration the humanitarian dimension of its scope, and the EU should not forget its fundamental commitments and legally binding rules to protect lives and human rights, especially of people in danger. The EESC supports the vision to provide a long-term response to migration, addressing the root causes of migration and creating a dialogue with third countries based on cooperation and shared responsibility. Tailored and specific agreements with each country, with full respect of human rights are also supporter. Flexibility provides the right perspective and combination of actions and incentives.

    Related Documents

    EESC opinion: REX/478 - Establishing a new Partnership Framework with third countries under the European Agenda on Migration

    Related Sections

    REX Section

    Related Sub Themes

    Migration

    Related Events

    Plenary Session 22-23 February 2017, 60 years of European Community - Let's shape the future !
  • 7 Feb 2017
    REX/485 - Renewed ACP Partnership Ongoing References: REX/485 Referral - Rapporteur: Brenda King (Employers - GR I / United Kingdom)

    The Commission recently published a Communication on a Renewed Partnership with the ACP Group of countries. ACP-EU relations are currently governed by the Cotonou Partnership Agreement that will expire in 2020, therefore the Commission has published recommendations on what the future structure should be. Last year the EESC already drafted a general opinion on the post-Cotonou framework; this new opinion will have to answer specifically to the Commission's communication.

  • 30 Jan 2017
    REX/481 - Participation of the Union in PRIMA Adopted References: REX/481 EESC-2017-EESC-2017-00045-00-00-AC-TRA Referral General Rapporteur: Mr Emilio Fatovic (Workers - GR II / Italy) Plenary Session: 522 - 25 Jan 2017 - 26 Jan 2017

    Related Documents

    EESC opinion: REX/481 - Participation of the Union in PRIMA

    Related Sub Themes

    Euromed, Innovation, Research and development

    Related Themes

    External Relations - the rest of the world
  • 26 Jan 2017
    REX/487 - EU development partnerships and the challenge posed by international tax agreements Ongoing References: REX/487 Own-initiative Rapporteur: Gajdosik Alfred (Various interests - GR III / Austria) Co-rapporteur: Wagnsonner Thomas (Workers - GR II / Austria)
  • 24 Jan 2017
    REX/484 - European Consensus on Development Adopted References: REX/484 Referral Rapporteur: Ionuţ Sibian (Various interests - GR III / Romania) Co-rapporteur: Mihai Manoliu (Employers - GR I / Romania)

    The 2030 Agenda, the new global framework for sustainable development agreed by the UN in 2015, needs to be reflected in EU's development policy, the major orientations of which are set out in the 2005 European Consensus on Development ("the Consensus").

    To this end, the Commission issued Communication COM(2016) 740, "Proposal for a New European Consensus on Development: Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future" in November 2016.  Interinstitutional negotiations are expected to result in its endorsement in the form of a Joint Statement by the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission, in May 2017.

    Related Documents

    Information memo: REX/484 - European Consensus on Development

    Related Sections

    REX Section

    Related Sub Themes

    Africa, Caribbean and Pacific, Asia, Latin America, India, Poverty, Food industry, Climate change, Sustainable development, EU-Africa Strategy

Results 1 to 10 out of 146.