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  • 12/06/2020
    At its June plenary session, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted a resolution with its proposals for the post-COVID-19 crisis reconstruction and recovery. Under the slogan 'the EU must be guided by the principle of being considered a community of common destiny', the adopted text suggests taking the opportunity presented by the crisis to build a new societal model: “We cannot simply restore what existed in the past: we need to restructure and improve it.”
  • 14/05/2020
    Position paper - ECO/517 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.
  • 28/04/2020
    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.
  • 28/04/2020
    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.
  • 22/04/2020
    The health emergency has made it clear that Europe does not have a unified position on public health and safety, and that the Union is unable to take firm decisions even on global problems that seriously affect the economy and social life of all Member States. In spite of the principles of participatory democracy stated by the European institutions, it is clear that it is difficult to put them into practice and that there is a lack of a clear framework defining the decision-making process and the appropriate legal instruments to follow it up. The current emergency, which is being addressed by a series of national measures without any coordination at European level and with serious potentially negative implications, may undermine the whole European project. The economic and social picture shows an unprecedented drama. The initial estimates show a picture of significant GDP decline and millions of unemployed people. Paradoxically, in CNEL's view, the situation that the European States are suddenly facing constitutes an opportunity, a historical necessity, to rethink Europe, preserving the basic spirit of the great unification project, but calling into question its institutional functioning and improving its ability to implement common strategies and effective policies. CNEL believes that the current serious crisis is forcing the Member States to devise a new common European area capable of responding quickly and consistently to the changing scenario that will increasingly characterize the globalized world, from an economic and social as well as health and environmental point of view.
  • 17/04/2020
    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.