In an exploratory opinion requested by the French presidency to the Council of the EU and adopted in January 2021, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) calls on the European Commission (EC) to consider the substantial benefits that the outermost regions (ORs) can bring to the future of Europe. The EC should also take appropriate measures to ensure that the ORs don't miss the post-COVID recovery, and don't fall behind in terms of the climate, social and digital transitions.
New financial instruments are needed if the social economy is to keep growing beyond the stimulus provided by public programmes, says a newly-adopted report by the EESC, which also calls for financial training as a way to foster private funding.
In its opinion adopted at the January plenary, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) supports transport multimodality and smart shipping, pointing out that inland waterway transport is essential for the future and needs to be maintained and developed.
The EESC firmly believes that a care model for dependent older people with long-term care needs should be mainstreamed into EU policymaking, given that the proportion of the population aged over 80 is expected to more than double by 2050. The pandemic revealed failures and shortcomings in this area, which must be addressed fast. The Commission's initiative to establish a new European Care Strategy is a step in this direction, but consultative institutions and European civil society organisations representing older people have to have a say.
The current socio-economic situation in euro area countries is characterised by a high level of uncertainty, an unprecedented accumulation of public debt and the rise of inflation. Despite initial encouraging expectations for a recovery in the real economy, it seems that the process is more complicated due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the appearance of new variants.
The EESC is urging the creation of a European network of special ombudsmen to help SMEs cope with the financial and funding issues they are experiencing, particularly as a result of the COVID crisis. The Committee also stresses that for SMEs to take up AI there needs to be the political will to support them in the process.
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.
5 organisations are awarded the 2021 EESC Civil Society Prize
The EESC is pleased to announce the five winners of the 12th edition of the Civil Society Prize, which rewards initiatives aimed at promoting a just transition towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy: Associació Catalana Enginyeria Sense Fronteres (...
Opinions in the spotlight
The EESC strongly supports the goal of redirecting investments in such a way that they contribute to the EU's transition to a sustainable economy but calls for the social partners and civil society to be brought better on board in the design and implementation of sustainable finance. The EU green bond standard has the potential to yield significant economic benefits for both issuers and investors alike and help the green transition.
The EESC laments the severity of the money laundering phenomenon in the EU. Current European legislation is largely inadequate in the face of coordination failures and national divergences, and therefore strongly supports the Anti Money Laundering legislative package, in particular the creation and design of the new European Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) with direct supervisory powers.