The EESC welcomes the AGS 2015, but reminds that it is not possible to implement a growth plan that supports job creation measures without investment. Social investment can play a critical role in the promotion of welfare and the eradication of poverty and exclusion. The Committee welcomes the streamlining of the European Semester and acknowledges the efforts made by the Commission to encourage more civil society participation. The review of the Europe 2020 strategy should be published in a timely manner in order to give stakeholders sufficient time to prepare their positions.
The 2013 Annual Growth Survey (AGS), which launches the European semester, sets out what the Commission believes should be the overall budgetary, economic and social priorities for the this year. Given the importance of the involvement of the organised civil society and the social partners in setting priorities for action at the national and EU level, the EESC issues its opinion as a contribution to the debates ahead of the Spring European Council.
The EESC welcomes the CEF's support for clean, low-carbon transport and sustainable energy structures, as well as the attention given to energy vulnerability. However, the Committee would like to see more financial resources allocated to the CEF.
It will be possible to meet the expectations of city "users" – inhabitants, businesses, visitors and administrators – thanks to digital service ecosystems overlaying high-quality material and immaterial enabling infrastructure. Establishing this infrastructure will also have a significant impact in terms of growth, employment and productivity.
The "Agenda for new skills and jobs" is one of the seven flagship initiatives under the Europe 2020 Strategy. It proposes actions within four key priorities in order to reach an employment rate of 75% by 2020. In its opinion the EESC broadly welcomes the European Commission initiative but puts forward a number of comments and recommendations. For instance, the Committee finds that the proposed initiative fails to encapsulate the urgent need to create good-quality jobs. It does not constitute a sufficient stimulus to Member States to set more ambitious national goals backed by the necessary investment and structural reforms.
On 23 February the EESC adopted two opinions addressing the issues of education and training and vocational skills development in the EU. Initiatives intended to promote high quality education for all could be meaningless, the EESC warned, if the austerity measures still in place in many EU countries prevented these from making the highly needed investments. As for the Commission's New Skills Agenda, the EESC wishes to see more innovative solutions focusing on social and gender perspectives, non-formal and informal learning and entrepreneurship as a life skill.
Seven years since the start of the crisis, the Committee expresses its concern over high unemployment, which is an issue in certain Member States in particular. The 2016 AGS contains much more in the way of social analysis, objectives and goals, but for this new approach to be effective, it should not be based on the reiteration of the policy recommendations of previous years.
On Monday 3 October the Greek Economic and Social Committee (OKE) and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), jointly organised the conference: Reforms needed to re-launch the Greek competitiveness which took place in Athens, in the premises of OKE.On Monday 3 October the Greek Economic and Social Committee (OKE) and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), jointly organised the conference: Reforms needed to re-launch the Greek competitiveness which took place in Athens, in the premises of OKE.On Monday 3 October the Greek Economic and Social Committee (OKE) and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), jointly organised the conference: Reforms needed to re-launch the Greek competitiveness which took place in Athens, in the premises of OKE.
It is vital to foster economic growth; only if Europe has a strong economy, can it better face the political and social challenges that stand before it. This was one of the main messages of the EESC opinions adopted yesterday in Brussels. The EESC calls for more investment– both private and public – directly in the countries that need it most. The EU body representing Civil Society also finds that the Juncker plan is not enough ...
Chaired by President of Group III Luca Jahier, the conference called for an active involvement of civil society organisations in the Europe 2020 reform process. Using the example of the Grande Région which connects regions in Luxembourg, France, Germany and Belgium, the conference provided the opportunity to exchange views on how integrated cross-border strategies can directly contribute to achieving the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.