The Commission intends to work with Member States, the Ukrainian authorities, transport operators, equipment suppliers and all other relevant stakeholders on both sides to establish alternative and optimised logistic routes: the new ‘EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes’. These lanes will facilitate in particular the forwarding of agricultural produce from Ukraine, but also our bilateral trade in goods and access of Ukraine to international markets and global supply chains making sure much needed cereals reach the world market.
Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation" (SLAPPs) are a particular form of harassment used against journalists, rights defenders and others who are involved in protecting the public interest. Typically, they are meritless lawsuits lodged by powerful individuals or entities against a weaker party who expresses a critical position on a matter of public interest. Through this Opinion, the EESC welcomes the European Commission initiative – a proposed Directive and a Recommendation – aiming to tackle this growing phenomenon. The EESC also proposes to go beyond the current scope of the initiative, notably through a stronger focus on national aspects, and recommendations on aspects like preliminary rulings or training.
Rare diseases are often chronic and sometimes disabling diseases affecting an estimated 25/30 million European citizens. Even more people are affected as care taker or family. Patients and relatives face difficulties in access to diagnosis, treatment or care and in their inclusion to society and labour market. In this opinion, the EESC presents its recommendations on how to improve social protection for these patients and raise awareness on their situation and needs.
This opinion draws attention to the needs of family members taking care of older, chronic ill or disabled relatives. Informal carers, as they are called, represented by a majority of women, work for free, and are more vulnerable to falling into poverty. The opinion calls for public policies in this field and a recognition of their important societal role.
Combating all forms of discrimination is one of the aims of the EU, as enshrined in the Treaties. Yet, Member States have never agreed on the Directive proposed by the European Commission in 2008, which would have extended the existing EU protection against discrimination to all policy areas. Such a situation has created an "artificial hierarchy of protected grounds" whereby areas such as sex, and racial or ethnic origin, enjoy wider protection than other grounds like religion or belief, age, disability and sexual orientation. This Own-Initiative Opinion seeks to address this situation, by recalling the need to adopt a comprehensive directive, but by proposing complementary actions notably based on the recognition of the general principle of equality.
The Cyber Resilience Act seeks to establish cybersecurity requirements for connected products and software (embedded and non-embedded). This initiative aims to address market needs and protect consumers from insecure products by introducing common cybersecurity rules for manufacturers and vendors of tangible and intangible digital products and ancillary services.