Achieving the digital transition is a fundamental challenge for the European Union in order to maintain a high level of business competitiveness. Winning this challenge is also decisive for global competition, for what could be defined as the maintenance of "digital sovereignty".
In 2017, the EESC organised a hearing and adopted a report on the LeaderSHIP 2020 Strategy as regards the maritime technology sector in Europe. This exercise was aimed at paving the way for the adoption of a new LeaderSHIP Strategy beyond 2020. Unfortunately, this strategy was not adopted.
In 2018, the EESC adopted an Opinion on "The Union's budget and the rule of law" (SOC/598) in which it supported the principle of corrective measures regarding Member States that commit serious violations of the rule of law in Europe. In the present Own-Initiative Opinion, the EESC insists on the actual implementation of Regulation (EU) 2020/2092 "on a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget". The EESC demands the imposition of swift and comprehensive sanctions for breaches of the rule of law which put the Union's budget at risk. It also recalls the importance for Member States to integrate measures to strengthen the rule of law in their recovery programmes. The EESC also supports a stronger role for the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO), European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), and civil society in the area.
The upcoming French Presidency of the Council of the European Union asked the EESC to prepare an opinion on how the industrial ecosystems identified by the Commission will contribute to the EU's strategic autonomy and the well-being of its citizens.