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At a hearing organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), experts agreed that digital system data must be subject to democratic control to respect confidentiality and avoid possible misuse. They highlighted that the digital transformation, especially in view of the EU's population ageing, must be inclusive and allow access to basic services for everybody.


At this critical time for trade and sustainable development (TSD), the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held the first European Civil Society Forum on TSD. This was a platform bringing together civil society, academia, EU and international institutions to discuss innovative ideas and concrete recommendations on the future of the EU’s trade policy. A series of breakout sessions covered TSD topics from substantive rights to monitoring, enforcement and much more, inviting participants to voice their views as part of the ongoing review of the 15-point action plan on TSD and recent developments in EU partner countries.


In efforts to promote the role of culture as an important vector of EU external relations, on 20 April 2022, the EESC held a hearing on its upcoming opinion Cultural diplomacy as a vector of EU external relations. New partnerships and role of CSO (rapporteur Mr Luca Jahier).


From the shadow pandemic of domestic violence during COVID-19 lockdowns to cyber stalking, violence against women and girls is endemic in society. To be truly holistic, the European Commission's proposal to address the issue across the EU must have a stronger human-rights focus, adopt a gender-sensitive approach and include women in vulnerable situations more effectively.


According to the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), it was high time to update the existing TEN-T rules, taking into account the current policy context and the lessons learned from the 2013 Regulation. Focused on cohesion, the new proposal aims to improve passenger and freight connectivity across the entire Union, through an increasingly multimodal and resilient transport network.


With its new trade strategy, the EU will get tougher on its trading partners, giving sustainability centre stage. The EESC also firmly believes that civil society organisations and the social partners should be given a seat at the table, to ensure that the benefits emerging from this new trade policy are genuinely distributed among all participants, both in the EU and in the partner countries.