This opinion deals with three of four megatrends at the heart of the new Commission priorities: climate change, biodiversity loss and globalisation. While the European Green Deal will result in higher environmental standards with, for instance, stricter climate change targets, it is important that all Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are not undermining these improvements by contributing to deforestation or biodiversity loss in other countries. As one of the world's largest importer of energy, agricultural goods and raw materials, the EU has contributed to deforestation and biodiversity loss in other countries.
Den europæiske grønne pagt
Den 11. december 2019 lancerede Kommissionen den europæiske grønne pagt, der var en styrkelse af EU's tilsagn om at gøre noget ved de klima- og miljørelaterede udfordringer, som er denne generations helt store opgave. Målet med den europæiske grønne pagt er at omdanne EU til en moderne, ressourceeffektiv og konkurrencedygtig økonomi, der sikrer, at:
- der ikke er nettoudledning af drivhusgasser i 2050
- den økonomiske vækst afkobles fra ressourceanvendelsen
- intet menneske og intet sted lades i stikken.
For at realisere målene i den europæiske grønne pagt gennemfører EU en omfattende pakke af initiativer, herunder politiske og lovgivningsmæssige forslag, og udvikler og moderniserer finansieringsinstrumenterne.
EØSU har efterlyst en "grøn og social pagt", idet det har understreget den tætte forbindelse mellem den grønne pagt og social retfærdighed. Det er vigtigt at høre alle interessenter for at gøde jorden for fremtidens bæredygtige og konkurrencedygtige virksomheder i et sundt miljø.
Den europæiske grønne pagt har et stærkt fokus på investeringer og finansiering af den grønne og bæredygtige omstilling. Den grønne pagt er Europas livslinje ud af covid-19-pandemien. En tredjedel af investeringerne på 1,8 mia. EUR fra genopretningsplanen NextGenerationEU og EU's 7-årige budget finansierer den europæiske grønne pagt. Denne saltvandsindsprøjtning til finansieringsmulighederne skal vende krisen til en mulighed for at forandre Europas fremtid.
EØSU spiller en vigtig rolle i at overvåge gennemførelsen af initiativerne og aktionerne forbundet med den europæiske grønne pagt. EØSU udarbejder udtalelser og arrangerer aktiviteter (se sidemenuen til venstre på denne side) for at sikre, at EU-institutionerne tager det organiserede civilsamfunds synspunkter i betragtning, og at initiativerne knyttet til den grønne pagt er forenelige med de økonomiske, sociale og samfundsmæssige forhold i praksis.
Alle EØSU's sektioner og CCMI beskæftiger sig med den europæiske grønne pagt som følge af dens horisontale og altfavnende karakter.
The health, economic and social crisis of COVID-19 has intensified the severity of the affordable housing crisis that Member States have been facing for years, particularly for homeless people, overcrowded households, residents of working class neighbourhoods and seasonal workers and immigrants – victims of housing conditions that have directly affected the infection rate in society. Although housing policy remains the competence of the Member States, the shortage of decent and affordable housing in the European Union requires a European action plan on housing that includes a comprehensive set of measures, which are easy for people to understand, to help Member States, regions and cities in Europe to sustainably boost the supply of social and affordable housing and effectively combat homelessness.
On 5 February 2020, the European Commission published its Communication Enhancing the accession process – A credible EU perspective for the Western Balkans, proposing a new methodology for candidate countries of the Western Balkans with the objective to render the accession process more coherent, respond to concerns of certain Member States expressed in October 2019 and enable the enlargement process to continue.
This exploratory opinion was requested by the European Parliament with a view to a forthcoming Commission initiative on fair minimum wages. The question of Decent minimum wages across Europe is a complex and sensitive issue. It is important that any EU action is based on accurate analysis and understanding of the situation and sensitivities in the Member States and fully respects the social partners' role and autonomy, as well as the different industrial relations models.
The Commission's new Circular Economy Action Plan focuses on sustainable products, less waste, product value chains, and circularity in regions and cities, and the global level.
This EESC opinion will respond to the European Commission's proposal for a regulation on establishing a European Climate Law and it will look into the role of citizens in driving the transformation towards climate neutrality.
The opinion will provide guidance on how to build on existing structures like citizens' dialogues and assemblies, social dialogue committees in order to structure and mainstream the dialogue with civil society. It will also make recommendations about how to encourage information sharing and public understanding of climate action; how to create real and virtual spaces for exchange on climate and how to build capacity to facilitate grassroots initiatives, among others.
Disruptions like coronavirus (COVID-19) threaten to bring the world economy and social life to a standstill. Its impacts include recessions in the USA, the EU, Japan and other regions of the world, extremely slow growth in China and huge losses in terms of output. Governments have to offset economic damage with fiscal and monetary policies and cope with the expected changes of the economic paradigm. The EESC stresses the need for efficient business models and trade defence mechanisms, in particular with regard to Asia, and notes that 36 million jobs in the EU depend on the EU's exporting potential, and that the share of EU employment supported by sales of goods and services to the rest of the world in relation to total employment increased from 10.1% in 2000 to 15.3% in 2017. The fiscal, economic and social response to the crisis is necessary for preventing its negative impact on these and other sectors.
Udvalgets udtalelse: Fostering competitiveness, innovation, growth and job creation by advancing in global regulatory cooperation, by supporting a renewed multilateral trading scheme and by reducing market-distorting subsidies (own-initiative opinion)
The unprecedented magnitude of the COVID crisis requires an unprecedented, long-term and unequivocal response. International trade is a vital tool to finance recovery ge get out of the crisis. In these efforts, the EU must stay true to its values and ensure the protection of businesses, workers and people, leaving no one behind. Recovery must be based on sustainability, and inclusive and green growth. Green Deal measures are therefore more relevant than ever.
The transition to a low-carbon economy is the EU's goal and obligation and the EU committed itself to implement this transition in a socially just and cost-effective manner. It is thus important to examine all the feasible ways of financing climate neutrality, and possibly find new and innovative financing models in the near future.