Digital technologies have reached a degree of maturity that allows their use across a wide range of economic sectors in manufacturing as well as in service industries. According to the 2010 edition of the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS), more than 50% of the EU workforce use ICT in their daily work, with individual EU Member States reaching rates above 85%. Services sectors are identified as the heaviest users of ICT (for instance, more than 90% of finance employees using ICTS in their daily work), which is to be seen as a natural consequence of the increasing digitalisation of many services – such as eBanking, eCommerce, and online media.
With this highly political Opinion with interest for all involved stakeholders, but also for consumers or citizens in general, the EESC aims to reply to the questions set out in the Commission Green Paper. Through the Green Paper consultation, the Commission is trying to obtain a better understanding of the online gambling sector which is expanding rapidly, is cross-border in nature and is characterised by different national regimes being implemented by Member States.
A highly participated hearing was held in the framework of the second study group meeting to elaborate a well-balanced and more realistic opinion. This event had an enormous feedback in media.
Social enterprise is a key element of the European social model and fundamental for the success of the EU2020 strategy. By supporting and promoting social enterprise, Europe strengthens its growth and competitiveness potential and its capacity to create social value. The EESC supports the Commission's launch of a political framework and action plan to promote social enterprise in Europe. In its opinion, it stresses the importance of its implementation at both EU and Member State level as well.
The EESC welcomes the Commission's proposals to amend the Taking of Evidence Regulation and the Service of Documents Regulation and calls on the Commission to take into account its observations: without a genuine judicial area, the freedoms of the single market cannot be fully taken advantage of.
The EESC welcomes the Commission's initiative to address "cross-border portability" through a regulation, but considers it necessary for a subscriber's "Member State of residence" to be clearly defined. The vacatio legis period of six months would be for the EESC a reasonable period for the service providers concerned to adapt their delivery systems to the new situation.