The first Stakeholder Summit on Artificial Intelligence, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the European Commission, stressed that the EU must ensure that artificial intelligence is safe, unbiased and in line with European values. The event, which aimed to discuss the next steps to advance the EU strategy on artificial intelligence, took place on 18 June in Brussels.
"It is not an easy task to deal with digitalisation in a way that all the layers of the society reap an equal benefit," underlined in his opening speech the President of the European Economic and Social Committee Luca Jahier. "Precisely therefore we, at the European Economic and Social Committee, promote the idea of ‘digital justice’ - we want that no-one is left behind from the digital revolution."
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.
Participants in a hearing on sustainable finance, organised by the EESC on 5 June 2018 in Brussels, explain how to move forward in order to redirect capital flows towards more sustainable investment projects
“This is a moment for social economy enterprises to demonstrate European values at a time when the EU is facing huge challenges,” said Ariane Rodert, a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), who opened the third European Day of Social Economy Enterprises (SEEs). The event, which took place on 4 June at the EESC's premises in Brussels, focused on how to scale up the social economy and showcased innovative social entrepreneurs.
Less bureaucracy, better regulation, standing strong against protectionism and completing Economic and Monetary Union – these are some of the actions needed to shape the future of Europe. While citizens often forget about the benefits the EU brings, the European Union, with all its flaws and cracks, nevertheless remains our greatest asset. These are the main conclusions of the conference The Future of the European Union – Employers' perspectives, which took place on 21 June in Madrid, Spain.
The EESC celebrates 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
Future of Europe: the EESC engages itself in the debate and takes stance.
The EESC is actively engaged in the current debate on the future of Europe with a view to contributing to shaping a future for the European Union which meets the demands and expectations of civil society organisations, and of Europeans citizens at large, and to influencing the EU's thinking and decisions on the course of action to take in the...
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.
The EESC welcomes the Commission’s proposals and recommends that they be swiftly adopted and implemented by the Member States. The Committee agrees with the Commission's proposal to allow Member States to use two reduced VAT rates and recommends that the Member States continue to apply reduced rates to certain classes of goods and services of general interest.
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - The Future of Food and Farming
Making a reality of the European Pillar of Social Rights (the "Social Pillar") will require improvements in Member States and a robust budgetary base, investment and current spending.
The EESC considers that the strong position of the European industry must be maintained and used to accelerate, transform and consolidate the EU economy's clean energy transition, with the important goal of achieving leadership in new technologies on the world market.
The Committee welcomes the general technology-neutral approach, notes, however, that it is far from sure that our future mobility will be all-electric, and other propulsion technologies, such as hydrogen or completely fossil-free liquid fuels, also provide big potential for clean mobility.
In response to the European Commission's communication on "Strengthening Europe's energy networks" (COM(2017)718 final), the European Economic and Social Committee shares the view that a sufficiently interconnected European energy grid is a prerequisite for achieving the aim of the Energy Union: to provide affordable, secure and sustainable energy that makes the energy transition to a low-carbon economy possible in a competitive way; considers that investments in grid infrastructure should be implemented with the same intensity as other energy investments, and in particular in coordination
The European Economic and Social Committee welcomes the opportunity to provide an opinion on the Third report on State of the Energy Union by the European Commission, as it did before for the first and second reports. As expressed in previous opinions, the EESC strongly supports the idea of a European Energy Union and would like to stress that the Energy Union is not only relevant to sectoral policies such as energy, transport and climate but offers opportunities to make Europe more democratic, more cohesive, more competitive, and more just.
The EESC welcomes the efforts made by the EC to address the persistent pay gap between men and women by proposing an Action Plan with eight areas for action, but finds that each area should be further developed. It is important to look at the stereotypes that affect career choices, as well as to the underlying causes of labour market segregation, in order to counter them. It agrees with the EC proposal for pay transparency and pay audits to be introduced in order to facilitate the collection of individualised data and develop appropriate action plans at sector and business level.
The EESC appreciates the proposed roadmap for completing the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) but its support is not full and enthusiastic, since a number of social, political and economic issues, highlighted in our previous opinions, were not taken into consideration. The completion of the EMU requires first of all strong political commitment, efficient governance and better use of the available finances, in order to actually cope with both risk reduction and risk sharing among Member States.