Every year in February, the EESC adopts an opinion on the Annual Sustainable Growth Survey (ASGS), which the Commission usually presents at the end of November the year before. The Committee present a opinion before the March Council discussion on the topic. To reinforce the Committee's impact throughout the entire annual semester cycle, an additional opinion is regularly produced by October taking into account the overall annual Semester process and Recovery and Resilience Facility developments and providing a timely input for the next cycle.
Reflection Paper 'Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030' - Related Opinions
This "Chapeau Communication" gives an overview of the different proposals of the 'Fit for 55' package as well as their linkages and explains the toolbox of policy measures chosen in order to attain an overall balance between fairness, emission reductions and competitiveness.
The EESC believes that an economic transition from a model driven by growth to one predicated on sustainability is inevitable. Given the sheer complexity of and the huge challenges posed by this transition, the proposals for new indicators set out in this opinion are only one example of approaches that could be taken when it comes to tools for measuring the social, economic and environmental situation. A concise "Beyond GDP" scoreboard should be designed and incorporated into the European Green Deal scoreboard and the European economic governance process. Indicators that look beyond GDP must be able to do more than merely monitor and measure: they must inform policy development, improve communication and promote target setting.
Trade Policy Review - An Open, Sustainable and Assertive Trade Policy
The Commission aims for more ambitious 2030 emissions reduction targets, both in the EU and internationally. President von der Leyen wants the EU to lead international negotiations to raise the ambition of other major emitters by 2021, and has pledged to put forward a comprehensive, responsible plan to increase the European Union's emissions reduction target for 2030, from 40 % towards 55 %. The plan should ensure a level playing field and stimulate innovation, competitiveness and jobs, based on social, economic and environmental impact assessments.
The 2030 climate plan Communication, adopted on 17th September 2020, sets out the proposed targets, as well as potential implications for the overall regulatory and enabling framework. It describes the overall architecture of policy measures to be put in place to achieve that target.
This additional opinion updates and complements the proposals made in the original ASGS opinion, adopted in February this year. The EESC welcomes the step forward towards embracing a more social, inclusive and sustainable economic model, particularly given the economic and social effects of COVID-19. To support the economic recovery and public investment, and in support of a digital and green transformation, the EESC believes that a revision of the Stability and Growth Pact, flexibility in state aid rules and a rethink of tax policy is necessary. Well-resourced public health measures and social security systems are likewise of vital importance. The EESC also welcomes the Commission's proposals for Next Generation EU and sees the ASGS as an opportunity for the EU to shift towards an economic model that gives equal weighing to both economic and social objectives.