At its upcoming plenary session on 10-11 December, the European Economic and Social Committee will host a debate with Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, on measures for renewed confidence, growth and jobs in Europe.
494th EESC Plenary Session
10-11 December 2013
JAN building (European Parliament), room JAN 4Q2, Brussels
You can watch the plenary session live at: www.eesc.europa.eu
The full agenda is available here.
Journalists who wish to attend the debate with Christine Lagarde on 10 December at 2:30 pm, are requested to register by sending an e-mail to presseesc [dot] europa [dot] eu by close of business today.
Another highlight of the session will be a discussion with Prisca Merz, the driving force behind the European Citizens' initiative "End ecocide in Europe", which seeks to define damage to and destruction of ecosystems as a crime.
Opinions to be discussed and voted on at the plenary session include:
Action Plan for the European Steel Industry
In the EESC's view, the Action Plan will take many months or even years to implement. However, given the speed of the fall in production and revenues this year, "just-in-time" action is required both to help workers affected by the crisis and to restore a positive investment climate. The action plan proposed by the Commission is rather vague about the specific measures that are to be taken and does not adequately address the cyclical dimension of the crisis.
In its own-initiative opinion, the Committee pleads for an EU-wide methodology for measuring volunteering. The EESC recommends that the International Labour Organisation Manual on the measurement of volunteer work be used for that purpose and that an appropriate EU Regulation be adopted to harmonise measurement in the Member States.
Social impact measurement
The EESC welcomes the debate on social impact measurements for social enterprises. However, it feels that an incorrect or rushed approach may counteract the EU Institutions’ aim to support the development of the social enterprise sector. The EESC therefore urges the Commission to prioritise further awareness-raising and full implementation of the Social Business Initiative agenda. The EESC recommends that, rather than developing a new method, the Commission build awareness of the most commonly used principles.
The two Commission proposals concerning card-based payment transactions will introduce maximum levels of interchange fees for transactions using consumer debit and credit cards. The EESC wants to lower the caps for both credit and debit electronic payments and include commercial cards at the same level.
Towards a strategy to develop cohesion in the Mediterranean
The Mediterranean region is strategically important to the EU, both economically and politically. The EESC will endorse the development of a Macro-Regional Strategy (EU MMRS) which will help the regions to cope with challenges and incorporate all the goals of the EU 2020 strategy.