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Opinions in the spotlight

Results 1 to 10 out of 106.

  • Opinion Item 6 Jul 2017
    Effectiveness of policies for SMEs Adopted References: INT/787 EESC-2016-EESC-2016-03121-00-00-AC Own-initiative Rapporteur: Ms Angelova (Employers - GR I / Bulgaria) Plenary Session: 527 - 5 Jul 2017 - 6 Jul 2017


    In its Opinion, the EESC draws attention to significant inefficiencies still existing in both the formulation and implementation of SME policies, warns against a bureaucratic approach still prevalent in EU policies and calls for a visible, coordinated and consistent horizontal policy for SMEs, based on a multiannual action plan. The EESC also proposes that the Commission assess whether the current definition of SMEs corresponds to their heterogeneity, sectoral dynamics, specific features and diversity during the last decade.

  • Opinion Item 6 Jul 2017
    Application of State aid rules for compensating the provision of services of general economic interest (Decision 2012/21/UE and Community Framework) Adopted References: TEN/605 EESC-2016 Own-initiative Rapporteur: Ms Milena Angelova (Employers - GR I / Bulgaria) Plenary Session: 527 - 5 Jul 2017 - 6 Jul 2017
  • Opinion Item 5 Jul 2017
    Implications of the digitalisation and robotisation of transport on EU policy-making Adopted References: TEN/632 EESC-2017 Own-initiative Rapporteur: Ms Tellervo Kyla-Harakka-Ruonala (Employers - GR I / Finland) Plenary Session: 527 - 5 Jul 2017 - 6 Jul 2017
  • Opinion Item 5 Jul 2017
    State of implementation of legal migration legislation Adopted References: SOC/553 EESC-2016-06698-00-01-ri-tra Referral Rapporteur: Del Rio (Workers - GR II / Italy) Plenary Session: 527 - 5 Jul 2017 - 6 Jul 2017 (Summary Plenary Session)

    In its evaluation of the implementation of EU directives on legal migration from the perspective of organised civil society in selected Member States, the EESC considers the impact of these directives to be generally positive, albeit partial and fragmented. It also notes the impact of irregular migration on the directives' applicability.

    The EESC provides a series of recommendations, covering the design of wider legal channels for labour migration; the role of the social partners and other organisations in this field; a simplified implementation of the directives and the modification of some of them; fact-based discourse to better inform the general public, integration and the fight against discrimination.

  • Opinion Item 28 Jun 2017
    Digital Single Market VAT (e)-package (VAT on e-commerce, e-publications, e-books) Adopted References: ECO/421 EESC-2016-06737-00-00-ac-tra Referral - Rapporteur: Amarjite SINGH (Workers - GR II / United Kingdom) Plenary Session: 527 - 5 Jul 2017 - 6 Jul 2017

    The EESC welcomes the package on the modernisation of VAT on cross-border e-commerce, and endorses both its objectives and its focus on addressing the concerns of SMEs. The Committee welcomes the proposed extension of the MOSS to goods as it creates conditions for the possible removal of the Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) scheme. Furthermore, the amendments to the VAT rates applicable to e-publications rules would eliminate the distinction between physical and non-physical publications, and ensure neutrality in this market.

  • Opinion Item 15 Jun 2017
    From Cork 2.0 Declaration to concrete actions Adopted References: NAT/709 EESC-2017 Own-initiative Rapporteur: Sofia Björnsson (Various interests - GR III / Sweden)

    Rural development is a horizontal issue that affects practically all policy areas.

    The EESC welcomes the Cork 2.0 Declaration that offers strong ongoing support for a rural policy at EU level. The EESC sees itself as a natural partner when it comes to implementing the declaration, and requests that the Commission continue producing progress reports on said implementation.

    Rural regions in the EU are not homogeneous and situations vary between and within Member States. These differences mean there is a need for focus and a strategic approach when using available EU funds. This must be based most importantly on initiatives from those living in rural areas.

  • Opinion Item 1 Jun 2017
    Electricity Market Design Adopted References: TEN/625 EESC-2016 Referral - Rapporteur: Mr Alfred GAJDOSIK (Various interests - GR III / Austria) Plenary Session: 526 - 31 May 2017 - 1 Jun 2017

    The EESC welcomes the Commission's proposal for a new market design, a risk preparedness regulation and the new organisation of the energy regulators' cooperation. The Committee highlights that well-functioning electricity markets are a precondition for fulfilling the goals of the Energy Union. For the markets to function well, significant changes in the market design are necessary, particularly due to the increasing use of variable renewable electricity. The EESC appreciates the general approach of the market design package, especially the goals of putting consumers at the heart of the energy market, increasing electricity supply and strengthening regional cooperation.

  • Opinion Item 31 May 2017
    VAT - derogation - reverse charge Adopted References: ECO/428 EESC-2017-00072-00-00-ac-tra Referral - Rapporteur: Giuseppe GUERINI (Various interests - GR III / Italy) Plenary Session: 526 - 31 May 2017 - 1 Jun 2017 (Summary Plenary Session)

    The EESC supports the measures that the European Union has put in place to tackle all forms of tax fraud and takes the view that the reverse charge mechanism for collecting value added tax (VAT) may be a useful tool in countering carousel fraud and VAT evasion. However, the use of the reverse charge mechanism, which is a derogation from the established principles on VAT, must not be allowed to harm the internal market and it must be temporary and properly assessed by the Commission.

    The Committee furthermore recommends focusing particular attention on the proportionality principle, as the cost of compliance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) related to introducing a reverse charge mechanism could be considerable.

  • Opinion Item 31 May 2017
    Artificial intelligence Adopted References: INT/806 EESC-2016-05369-00-00-AC-TRA Own-initiative Rapporteur: Ms Catelijne Muller (Workers - GR II / Netherlands) Plenary Session: 526 - 31 May 2017 - 1 Jun 2017

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies offer great potential for creating new and innovative solutions to improve peoples lives, grow the economy, and address challenges in health and wellbeing, climate change, safety and security.

    Like any disruptive technology, however, AI carries risks and presents complex societal challenges in several areas such as labour, safety, privacy, ethics, skills and so on.

    A broad approach towards AI, covering all its effects (good and bad) on society as a whole, is crucial. Especially in a time where developments are accellerating.

  • Opinion Item 31 May 2017
    Erasmus+ mid-term evaluation Adopted References: SOC/552 EESC-2016-05623-00-02-ri-tra Referral Rapporteur: Vareikytė (Various interests - GR III / Lithuania) Co-rapporteur: Babrauskienė (Workers - GR II / Lithuania) Plenary Session: 526 - 31 May 2017 - 1 Jun 2017 (Summary Plenary Session)

    The EESC has been asked by the European Commission to contribute to the EC's mid-term evaluation of the Erasmus+ programme. In this context, two questionnaires were widely disseminated by the EESC in the member states and four fact-finding missions have been organised. The EESC also held an expert hearing to collect the views of specialised civil society organisations. An information report has been drafted containing the results of this exercise, accompanied by a detailed technical appendix containing important data on the awareness and perception of the programme. The aim of this evaluation was to provide information to the EC on the experience of civil society organisations with the enlarged and improved programme.

    According to the information report it is necessary: to better disseminate information and to increase awareness within national political circles; to review the lump sum system and travel rates; to recognize the experiences acquired; to improve the participation of civil society at the programme management level; and to ensure that background, disability or geographical location are not obstacles to participation.

Results 1 to 10 out of 106.