The EESC adopted unanimously in September 2020 the opinion "SME strategy". Amongst its main conclusions were the plead to the Commission to draw up a "Next Generation SME Strategy". Unfortunately, in its 2021 Work Program, the European Commission chose to commit to an update of the Industrial, but not of the SME Strategy.
Opinions with Employers' Group members as rapporteur/co-rapporteur/rapporteur-general
Micro enterprises and SMEs (MSME) in all fields need good conditions to survive the health and economic crisis and unlock their potential so that they can grow and create jobs. This opinion will examine alternatives to address the administrative ("paper tax") burden on MSMEs, particularly in view of current transparency and disclosure measures to achieve the EU's social and environmental objectives.
The EU is the world's biggest producer of glass with a market share of around one third of total world production. The industry is known for the quality of its products, its capacity for technological innovation and its skilled labour force. The glass industries comprise five sectors covering different glass products, applications and markets: containers, flat glass, glass fibre, special glasses and domestic glass.
Informationsvermerk: Glass in Europe at a crossroads: delivering a greener, energy-efficient industry, while enhancing competitiveness and maintaining quality jobs (own-initiative opinion)
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the health of Europe's citizens and its economy hard, notably its industrial production. The European companies in the sectors with high consumption of resources and energy (REIIs) were already in a precarious situation, and are now undergoing this further, unexpected, crisis.
The objective of the opinion will be to analyse how the digital revolution in the economy is transforming retail and wholesale, how it is forcing fundamental changes: new business models and channels are emerging, data is becoming core business, customers buy more online, new digital products are offered, new skills are needed, stores in towns must evolve and reinvent themselves to stay relevant.
Batteries placed on the EU market should become sustainable, high-performing and safe all along their entire life cycle. This means batteries that are produced with the lowest possible environmental impact, using materials obtained in full respect of human rights as well as social and ecological standards. Batteries have to be long-lasting and safe, and at the end of their life, they should be repurposed, remanufactured or recycled, feeding valuable materials back into the economy.
The Slovenian presidency of the Council of the EU has decided to request an EESC opinion on one of its priority topics linked to digitalisation. Artificial intelligence is regarded as the most important aspect in digitalisation. Particularly important are also the integration of advanced technologies into society and transition to a gigabit society. With the emerging technologies such as the AI and the data economy, the EU can recover rapidly and become the world’s leading digital society.
The EESC opinion should cover the following topics:
Stellungnahme des Ausschusses: Exploiting the economic and social opportunities of digitalisation and improving the digital transformation of the economy, especially the SMEs, focusing on human-centered artificial intelligence and data
The communication presents a vision, targets and avenues for a successful digital transformation of Europe by 2030. It proposes to agree on a set of digital principles, to rapidly launch important multi-country projects, and to prepare a legislative proposal setting out a robust governance framework, to monitor progress – the Digital Compass.