In September 2016, the EESC adopted an own-initiative opinion on "The rights of live-in care workers". It was a first policy document at the European level dealing with the sector of live-in care work in Europe. As follow-up to this initiative, the EESC will carry out 5 country visits to countries of origin and destination of live-in care workers (United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Italy and Poland) to deepen the research on labour and work conditions of these persons and the quality of care delivery. The findings will be presented in a report to be released by the EESC later in 2018.
Globally, inequality and poverty also have led to migration, fostering, inequality and tensions in the host countries.
Europe has reacted to these challenges by proclaiming the European pillar of social rights, a set of key principles aiming at a more social Europe. Its main purpose is to fight against inequality and poverty. The fight against inequalities is also linked to the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Hearing on Sustainable Finance - Ways forward after the Commission Action Plan
A sound system of financing sustainable growth, with a long-term approach, is the most important driver for restoring trust in the markets and connecting savings to sustainable investments, providing complementary sources of funding for SMEs and strengthening green and social infrastructure projects.
The challenges should be addressed harmoniously, through a joint effort by all, including actors in the financial sector, companies, citizens and authorities. It is also of utmost importance that in this field, the whole EU speaks with one voice and follows the same approach.
The European Year of Cultural Heritage is an excellent opportunity to understand how Europe’s rural cultural heritage is a prized asset which needs to be showcased alongside our urban heritage. The EESC opinion on the "Contribution of Europe’s Rural Areas to the 2018 Year of Cultural Heritage" will consider what measures are necessary to ensure sustainability of landscapes, habitats, species and human imprints. It will look at how to ensure initiatives that will add today's creativity to our heritage and improve co-operation between the rural and the urban, not least through promoting rural cultural tourism. It will also explore how innovation and digitalisation can contribute to capturing and promoting this heritage for all citizens and communities within and beyond Europe.
The EESC Study Group on the Inclusion of the Roma will be organising a public hearing on the issue of early school leaving within the Roma community. Education is considered the key for a better future. Yet the social exclusion they face, as well as certain regulatory measures, amongst others factors, affect negatively the education they receive.
This hearing will highlight the current situation with regard to early school leaving amongst the Roma. It will seek to identify factors which trigger this phenomenon and feature a discussion on initiatives and good practices which are being undertaken by civil society organisations as well as recommendations on how early school leaving can be prevented.
The EESC has been working on the topic of Social Economy Enterprises for the past decade and a dedicated permanent study group has been created in 2016. In view of the success of the European Day of Social Economy Enterprises in 2016 and 2017, it was proposed to organise a third edition of this event.
While the environmental benefits of the transition to low-carbon energy supply systems have been widely discussed, economic effects have only been touched upon in a piecemeal fashion, e.g. through employment in the renewable energy sector, the increasing cost competitiveness of energy from renewable sources, or the rise of energy poverty. In particular, it remains unclear how the economies of Europe's diverse regions are affected by the shift to decentralised, low-carbon energy supply. As recent political initiatives in relation to coal regions and islands however show, Europe's energy transition has a distinctively regional dimension. The EESC is currently working on an own-initiative opinion on "The effects of a new carbon-free, decentralised and digitalized energy supply structure on jobs and regional economies". In this opinion, it seeks to take stock of existing economic analyses on the regional effects and develop an assessment framework.
The 12th meeting of the EU Advisory Group for the EU-Central America Association Agreement took place on 30 May in Brussels. Please click on the programme tab to consult the topics on the agenda.
The European Economic and Social Committee is organising a hearing as part of its work related to its own-initiative opinion on Artificial intelligence: anticipating its impact on jobs to ensure a fair transition.
The main objective of the hearing will be to debate the impact of artificial intelligence on different sectors of work and to discuss how to anticipate these changes and developments in order to reduce the negative impact on workers, businesses and consumers, and to ensure a fair transition.
During the energy transition towards the low-emission economy, the EU energy system faces a period of profound technological, economic and social change that will affect many of the energy sectors, including the coal industry and hence the coal-mining regions of the EU. However, the currently active coal-mining regions have to prepare for the phasing-out of coal production to be in line with EU energy and climate policy decisions on fossil fuel use or for economic reasons.