Enhancing sustainable economic growth across the EU

EESC opinion: Enhancing sustainable economic growth across the EU

Key points:


  • emphasises that the COVID-19 crisis should not steer the EU away from its medium and long-term objectives, as outlined in the European Green Deal, 2020 Sustainable Growth Strategy, and the European Pillar for Social Rights;
  • believes that EU operators need to rethink supply-chain strategies, including diversification, as well as the realignment of supply chains across multiple sectors;
  • believes that the EU needs to play a more prominent role in world trade, which is vital for EU companies and their business prospects and that a level playing field in a wide range of aspects (not least international labour standards, fair competition and compliance with climate change targets) for global firms operating in a global marketplace should apply;
  • believes that the economic problems and other consequences created by the COVID-19 crisis suggest that a change in the modus operandi of businesses within the EU and across the globe is necessary;
  • believes that any attempt to achieve and enhance sustainable growth requires government direction and regulation in all areas of economic activity and environmental protection, with an emphasis on mainstreaming environmental protection into economic activity;
  • underlines that open dialogue with social partners and civil society remains key to setting the economic direction;
  • believes that aid offered to businesses, both at the national and EU level, must be conditional on attaining the goals set out in the European Green Deal and the 2020 Sustainable Growth Strategy, and on evidence of social progress;
  • believes that a revision of existing rules of the Stability and Growth Pact may be deemed necessary during the post-COVID recovery phase;
  • is of the view that a cornerstone of sustainable economic growth in the EU must be the creation and development of a truly circular economy;
  • underlines the role of innovation and digitalisation and investing continuously in human capital in facilitating the transition towards sustainable growth;
  • believes that for an economy to continue to grow sustainably in the future, it needs to increase its capacity to grow, but only to the point where such growth adds value to the economy by increasing both wages and surpluses, thereby increasing demand in the Single Market, and without infringing on acquired rights such as social protection and collective bargaining.