The purpose of the opinion is to contribute to the further development of the foresight in the EU policy-making. The opinion will comment on the Commission's 2023 Annual foresight Report, which focused on the sustainability and people's wellbeing at the heart of Europe's Open Strategic Autonomy.
Improving Micro Small and Medium Enterprises’ (MSMEs) financial resilience is crucial to avoid unnecessary bankruptcies, loss of jobs and mitigate the impact of the past, ongoing and future crisis.
The European Union has close to 182 million hectares of forests covering 43% of its land area and these forest areas are one of Europe's most important renewable resources. EU forests are exceptionally diverse, with a large variety of forest types, characteristics and ownership structures. They provide multiple benefits for society and the economy whilst being a major source of biodiversity.
Increasing tensions between geopolitical blocs, supply chain problems and the need to respond to the challenges of climate change, rising resource consumption and social imbalances are now key areas of activity in European industrial policy.
At the request of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the EESC is drawing up this opinion to suggest recommendations on how to tackle inequalities, foster upwards social convergence and strengthen social security systems and ensure its long-term affordability, in an EU economic governance framework/European Semester defined around debt sustainability, productive investments and reforms. This opinion is also focusing on the implications of such a framework for the European Semester, and the further strengthening of the social pillar herein. Finally, the opinion also looks at ways of continuing to further develop fiscal instruments that have a stabilising role at the European level, based e.g. on the experience of SURE.