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11/05/2020

The EESC congratulates the Commission on its proposal for a transitional regulation to support European farmers, and the positive outcome of the vote in the European Parliament Comagri Committee, which will ensure a smooth transition from the current (2014-2020) to the next (2021-2027) CAP period.

The Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) reform should be adopted by October 2020, but the negotiations for the next programming period are far behind schedule, situation even more aggravated by the coronavirus crisis.

30/04/2020

The partnership with Africa was clearly highlighted by the EU institutions as one of the main priorities for the coming years, but the COVID-19 pandemic might threaten closer cooperation. This was the topic of a webinar organised on 29 April by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), where participants agreed that consolidation of supply chains and an agreement to ease the external debt burden of African countries were key issues.

15/04/2020

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) gave its backing to the Commission's proposal to amend the regulation governing the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) in a bid to ensure that Europe's most vulnerable citizens remain supported during the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a position paper adopted on 15 April, the EESC says it is in favour of introducing specific measures aimed at protecting the most deprived from the disease and at ensuring that FEAD assistance still reaches them despite the crisis.

15/04/2020

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has adopted a position paper calling for additional measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the fisheries and aquaculture sector. This crisis is having a striking impact on EU fisheries, as the major fish sales channels have been closed: sales outlets, markets, shops, restaurants and hotels. As demand abruptly dropped, the price of the fish fell to half or less of the value at which it was traded before. The activities in this sector are now loss-making as a result. In this position paper, the EESC welcomes the Commission's proposal to amend the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Regulation and the Common Market Organisation (CMO) Regulation and appreciates the speed of its response.

15/04/2020

The EESC has endorsed the European Commission’s proposal to postpone by a full year the implementation of several provisions of the new regulation on medical devices (Regulation (EU) 2017/745 of 5 April 2017) which were to come into effect in May 2020.

The move is intended to ease the regulatory burden on Member States grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, which is putting a huge strain on their resources.

The proposal also allows EU-wide exceptions to the normal conformity assessment procedures for specific devices in order to address potential shortages of vitally important medical equipment such as Europe is experiencing at the moment.

15/04/2020

The EESC welcomes the proposal to provide exceptional flexibility for the use of the European Structural and Investment Funds in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and calls for it to be adopted swiftly with the greatest possible flexibility. All possible administrative burdens should be eliminated, and social partners and relevant civil society organisations more actively involved, in order to ensure effective crisis management. To overcome the socio-economic effects of the pandemic, the European Commission should propose an EU recovery plan commensurate with needs and in line with the EU's priorities. This plan should make use of all the programmes under a revised MFF 2021-2027, new innovative financial tools and investments.

15/04/2020

The response to the COVID-19 crisis has had a negative impact on a number of fundamental rights. The unavoidable lockdowns have restricted our freedom of movement and cross-border travel. Freedom of association and assembly have been cut, so have privacy rights through data tracking systems. What has been put in place as a temporary measure cannot be instrumentalised to revert decades-long fights for freedoms and equality.  We must get out of this crisis with our democracies – and our European Union – intact.

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