The president of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Christa Schweng kicked off the Committee's official activities relating to the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) with a live question and answer debate.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomes the Commission's initiative on binding pay transparency, but considers that the proposed Directive should be strengthened in various areas and that further measures need to be taken to address the root causes of the gender pay gap.
In a debate on European values with European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders, held at its plenary session on 10 June, the EESC asked for civil society organisations and citizens to be more heavily and more actively involved in standing up for democracy and the rule of law in the EU, which have taken a turn for the worse across Member States
To provide the European Commission with a valuable contribution to its 2022 work programme, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has adopted a Resolution. This timely and important document addresses the main issues around using investment and reforms to overcome the economic and social crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
At its plenary session of 09 and 10 June 2021 (meeting of 09 June), the European Economic and Social Committee adopted the following resolution by 175 votes with 2 abstentions.
Frans Timmermans has announced measures to shield the most vulnerable from the possible extension of the emission trading system to heating and transport fuels, and heard the EESC's proposals to improve corporate decision-making on the green transition through social dialogue.
The EESC's Transatlantic Relations Follow-up Committee met just days ahead of the high‑level EU-US summit, marking the importance of civil society's transatlantic dialogue. Amongst a wide range of subjects to work together on, the meeting put special emphasis on issues of climate change and trade.
The EESC president
As set out in the Joint Declaration signed on 10 March 2021 by the European institutions, the Conference on the Future of Europe aims at connecting and engaging with citizens. The main aim of this key project - to which the EESC is fully committed – is to give a real say to citizens.
The 2021 prize will reward effective, innovative and creative initiatives carried out by civil society organisations and/or individuals on the territory of the EU which aim to promote a just transition towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy.
The deadline for submitting applications is 30 June 2021, 10 a.m. (CEST).
Opinions in the spotlight
The EESC recommends, in order to achieve high-quality and inclusive education and training and lifelong learning for all, establishing achievable long-term goals and a constant monitoring system within the European Education Area (EEA) for each Member State. The teaching of key competences, including social sensitivity, empathy, intercultural dialogue and citizenship skills, should be applied across the whole education and training process.
The Communication stresses the EU's commitment to safeguarding an online environment providing the highest possible freedom and security, for the benefit of its citizens.
The Digital Markets Act addresses the negative consequences arising from certain behaviours by platforms acting as digital “gatekeepers” to the single market.
The landscape of digital services is significantly different today from 20 years ago, when the eCommerce Directive was adopted. Online intermediaries have become vital players in the digital transformation. Online platforms in particular have created significant benefits for consumers and innovation, but at the same time, they can be used as a vehicle for disseminating illegal content, or selling illegal goods or services online.
The opinion, presenting EESC's position on the four proposals of the Health package published by the European Commission in November 2020, supports and welcomes these initiatives but draws the attention on some elements.
The EESC stresses the crucial importance of having effective training systems and the ability to anticipate skills needs at a time of profound upheavals due to the COVID-19 crisis. The EESC considers the social partners to be effective players in designing and managing training systems. They are very well placed to measure the skills needs of the labour market and must systematically play a major role in the development of qualifications and their content.
The Commission is undertaking a series of evaluations of the Common Agricultural Policy for the timeframe 2014-2020, assessing performance against the CAP's general objectives. Since the evaluation targets CAP socioeconomic impacts, representing a wide-ranging scope, the EESC provided a complementary evaluation focusing on five countries whose selection has been made together with the Commission in order to maximise complementarity and added value to the EC evaluation.
The SUD can play a central role in the European Green Deal framework, being crucial to the Commission's Farm-to-Fork strategy for shifting to a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system, and complementary to both the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the Zero Pollution Strategy.