This brochure is based on the Annual Activity Report 2017, issued in June 2018, which is the European Economic and Social Committee's main annual tool for reporting to the budgetary authority. It provides an overview of all the Committee's activities in 2017.
Transport plays a key enabling role in realising sustainable development. It contributes to the economy, trade and employment, but, on the other hand, it may face issues relating to the environment, traffic and safety. In its own-initiative opinion drafted by Tellervo Kylä-Harakka-Ruonala, the EESC reviews the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, by providing a cross-cutting approach where the economic, social and environmental aspects come together, urges the Commission to prepare a new and integrated framework for future EU transport policy.
This digital publication retraces those sixty years of the Committee's commitment to involving civil society, in all its diversity, in the building of Europe, highlighting its successes, its great achievements, its added value and its vision for the future of Europe.
Appropriate skills, social protection and diversity in the workplace will all be crucial for the future, as will social dialogue about the introduction of new technologies
Theme of the 2018 prize: "Identities, European Values and Cultural Heritage in Europe" The 2018 prize will reward innovative initiatives carried out by civil society organisations and/or individuals on the territory of the EU and aimed at raising awareness of the multiple layers and richness of European identities, exploiting the full potential of Europe's cultural wealth, facilitating access to European cultural heritage and promoting European values.
A joint initiative by the European Commission and the EESC to exchange and interact, and make circular economy happen faster to the benefit of all.
The EESC celebrated its 60th anniversary on 24 May with a debate on the future of Europe.
Discover our e-publication issued on the occasion of the 60 years of the EESC: Civil Society in action for tomorrow's Europe
The EESC supports the Commission's Fin Tech Action Plan and considers that the development of FinTech can deliver a number of benefits to both European businesses and their clients. Measures included in the action plan on improving cyber security and the resilience of the financial sector are important, but should be supplemented by rules to ensure uniformity in the development of FinTech in the EU. Similarly, the Committee believes that the level of regulation for FinTech should be equivalent to that in the financial sector.
The key message of the opinion is that transforming the energy system towards carbon-free, decentralised and digitalised supply offers enormous opportunities, in particular for structurally weak and rural regions in Europe. The development of renewable energy (RE) can have a major and beneficial impact on employment, and can be configured so as to provide a completely new stimulus for the regional economy. There is therefore potential for mutually reinforcing the positive effects of Europe's energy and cohesion policies.
The digitalised world of work will necessitate proper transition management – not only from the side of enterprises, but also from that of human capital.
On the one hand, enterprises have to identify and assess the new needs and draw up and implement plans for controlling the risks and reducing the costs of the transition; employees, on the other hand, should be provided with appropriate guidance and training, so that they can adapt to the new reality and be able to seize the opportunities offered and thrive.
Women with disabilities constitute 16% of the total population of women in Europe, which means in the EU there are approximately 40 million women and girls with disabilities.
Women with disabilities face intersectional discrimination in all areas of life, including, socio-economic disadvantages, social isolation, violence against women, forced sterilisation and abortion, lack of access to community services, low-quality housing, institutionalisation, inadequate health care and denial of the opportunity to contribute and engage actively in society.
The EESC welcomes the Commission's package, a centrepiece in the EU offensive to address the persisting issue of NPLs and fundamental to progress towards the Banking Union. The EESC agrees with the application of statutory prudential backstops as a preventive measure to ensure that credit losses on future NPLs are sufficiently provisioned but warns against a "one size fits all" approach.
Transport is a vital enabler of several SDGs. It contributes strongly to the SDGs regarding economic development, industry and SMEs, as well as trade and investment. Consequently, it also helps achieve the SDGs that aim to promote employment and well-being, and to reduce inequalities and exclusion. Meanwhile, transport presents many challenges with respect to the SDGs, such as the need to reduce climate and environmental impacts, to improve transport systems and traffic safety, and to manage concerns related to jobs and decent work.
The revision of Council Directive 98/83/EC on the quality of water intended for human consumption is also part of the plan to transition to a circular economy. The revised proposal will help Member States manage drinking water in a resource-efficient and sustainable manner, thereby helping to reduce energy use and unnecessary water loss. It will also help reduce the number of plastic bottles.
The EESC endorses this initiative for a EuroHPC Joint Undertaking as a concrete step in line with the European cloud strategy as well as part of a wider EU strategy (which includes Cybersecurity, the Digital Single Market, the European Gigabit Society, Open Science, etc.). This initiative brings clear EU added value with a key technology which will help to tackle the most challenging issues of our modern society and will ultimately be beneficial for our well-being, competitiveness and jobs.
The EESC supports transparent and predictable working conditions for all workers, including in atypical employment, as a concrete step towards implementing the European Social Pillar. The definition of worker and employer should be clarified in the Commission's proposal and on-demand workers be guaranteed a minimum number of hours or pay.