The EU has some of the strongest regulations in the world on the use of plant protection products (PPPs – pesticides) and other chemicals in agriculture. However, there is still room for improvement to achieve greater regulatory convergence to reduce the risks of using PPPs, and to guarantee a healthy and safe food supply for an ever-growing world population.
On the day of the launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe, I encourage citizens to take part in this historic undertaking. I would also like to appeal to policy-makers to ensure that we get the most out of what people have to say.
For the second consecutive year, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) opened its virtual doors and celebrated Europe online with a dedicated website, underlining that, now more than ever, civil society organisations are playing an essential role in Europe, from their involvement in the recovery to their vital work in dealing with our day-to-day challenges.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) intends to play an active part in joint European efforts to translate the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) into action and to build a fairer and more prosperous Europe for everyone.
The Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA) proposed by the European Commission to curtail the ever growing power of digital giants in Europe are fit for purpose, in the EESC's view, provided they go hand and hand with the taxation of tech companies, better working conditions for platform workers and data governance.
The EESC president
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).
Give a real say to citizens
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.
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.