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The Rule of Law is also very much about the economy!

The rule of law crisis in the EU is deepening. It has become highly politicised and has triggered legal disputes that undermine the very foundations of the European Union. While the political and legal aspects of the rule of law debate are very much present in public discourse, the economic angle remains underestimated. This is a mistake, in my opinion, as social and economic stability is highly impacted by the rule of law.

Diary Dates

To the point

In our column "To the point", we ask EESC members about important EU opinions that have an impact on everyday life in the EU.

Industry: protectionism is a dead-end street for Europe, climate neutrality is the key

By Sandra Parthie

Disruption, transition, transformation, structural change – we certainly live in "interesting times". Europeans today face several megatrends simultaneously – climate change and the need to decarbonise our economies; digitalisation and the need to re-think workplace organisation; de-globalisation and the need to remain economically relevant.

One question to...

One question to…

In our column "One question to...", Maria Nikolopoulou answers EESC info readers' questions on the origins and significance of the ad hoc Group on Equality, of which she has become president.



"We constantly foster a culture of equality"

EESC info: You have been elected president of the EESC Ad hoc group on equality. What are the most important tasks that the group will undertake?

Maria Nikolopoulou: The mission of the equality group is to promote a cross-cutting culture of equality and non-discrimination in the EESC. Therefore, the first step is to identify the areas where members might potentially receive unequal treatment due to their origin, gender, sexual orientation or beliefs. We also aim to enhance the participation of women in our Committee and reach gender balance as soon as possible. We currently have 108 female members (32.82%). On the one hand, we want to increase the number of female members in the medium/long term and on the other hand we want to make sure that we create space and the necessary conditions for women to be more active. One of the tools that we want to improve is data collection on the participation of women, not only as members but also as experts and speakers, in our activities.


Guess who is our guest...

The surprise guest

Every month in our column "The Surprise Guest" we introduce a public figure whose work and commitment are seen by others as a source of inspiration. In particular their courage, strength of character and determination to take action are exemplary.

EESC Info's guest this month is Hanna Liubakova, a Belarusian activist and journalist who is speaking out firmly to say that, now more than ever, the Belarusian opposition needs Europe. She is appealing to the European Union and other donors to support the opposition's actions and, in particular, to support journalists and NGOs in their struggle for freedom and democracy.


"Supporting civil society in Belarus is a matter of urgency"

Belarusians have changed dramatically. A vibrant popular movement has unfolded since 2020, culminating in mass protests, the largest since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Unlike in previous elections, the grassroots represented people from all walks of life, united by social media channels and led by women.


EESC: The EU should crack down on breaches of the rule of law

The European Economic and Social Committee has taken a tough stance on breaches of the rule of law in the EU, declaring that it is committed to ensuring that the Council of the European Union and the European Commission impose high dissuasive penalties on Member States which systematically disrespect the rule of law in a way that puts the EU budget at risk.

In the European Year of Youth 2022 we should ensure tangible and lasting outcomes for all young Europeans

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has welcomed the designation of 2022 as the European Year of Youth, but feels that it should go beyond mere promotional activities: it should contribute towards the EU's Youth Strategy through clear plans and commitments aimed at achieving tangible results for all young Europeans.

EESC backs priorities of French EU Presidency

Recovery, strength and a sense of belonging are the three main objectives of the French Presidency, which the EESC shares and supports, as its president Christa Schweng made clear at the January plenary session on 19 January 2022 when addressing the French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune.

Sufficient, sustainable and accessible quality care for older people is vital

The EESC firmly believes that a care model for dependent older people should be mainstreamed into EU policymaking, given that the proportion of the population aged over 80 is expected to more than double by 2050.


Health and safety at work: new occupational risks call for a strong social dialogue

Despite the shift in occupational risks brought about by the digitalisation of work - which has led to a spike in stress and burnout-induced conditions or ergonomic injuries, and to a slight drop in the number of workplace accidents - social dialogue remains instrumental in promoting occupational safety and health (OSH), the European Economic and Social Committee said in the opinion Social dialogue as a tool to promote health and safety at work.

The EESC calls for financial ombudsmen for SMEs and a small-business-first approach to AI in Europe

The EESC has called for the creation of special ombudsmen to help SMEs in Europe cope with their financial and funding issues. The Committee also stresses that, for SMEs to take up AI, there needs to be the political will to support them in the process.


Social economy: adapt investments to drive more funding, says the EESC

New financial instruments are needed if the social economy is to keep growing beyond the stimulus provided by public programmes, says a new report by the EESC, which also calls for financial training to foster private funding.

EESC provides recipe for food security and sustainability

In the opinion on Food security and sustainable food systems adopted at its plenary session on 19 January 2022, the EESC identified the key levers for sustainable and competitive EU food production and for reducing dependence on imports while increasing the EU's protein autonomy.

Inland waterway transport needs investment

The EU needs to continuously adapt European transport to current and future needs, especially in view of the changes in demand and the upward trend in seaport turnover. The key features must be multimodality and smart shipping, tapping into the advantages of the various modes of transport to achieve the best possible results, while at the same time increasing safety and reducing the environmental burden.




The outermost regions are key to the future of the EU

In an exploratory opinion requested by the French presidency of the Council of the EU, the EESC calls on the European Commission to consider the substantial benefits that the outermost regions can bring to the future of Europe.




EESC suggests key additions to the Commission's recommendations on euro-area economic policy for 2022

In January 2022, the EESC adopted an opinion addressing the European Commission's recommendations on euro-area economic policy for 2022, taking account of the current circumstances.




EESC warns of the possible negative socio-economic impact of the energy product taxation proposal

In an opinion adopted in January 2022, the EESC welcomes the European Commission's objective of clarifying and updating the existing EU framework and of structuring European taxation in a way that favours sustainable non-fossil energy.




Access to raw materials is becoming fundamental for the success of the twin transition

The key role of raw materials was discussed at a high-level conference hosted by the EESC on 31 January. The conference focused specifically on two main aspects: the essential role that critical raw materials play in securing the EU's strategic autonomy in the green and digital transition and the importance of circularity in creating a market for secondary raw materials in Europe.

News from the Groups

The Green Deal will change everything, geopolitics included

By Dimitris Dimitriadis, member of the EESC Employers' Group and president of the EESC External Relations Section

With its objective to decarbonise the EU economy, the European Green Deal is a game-changer that will revolutionise our economy, our society and our relations with the rest of the world.

Social dialogue as a tool to promote health and safety at work

By the EESC Workers' Group

At a time when different types of crises and transitions are affecting the world of work, social dialogue can be instrumental in achieving three key objectives: anticipating and managing the changes brought about by the green, digital and demographic transitions; improving the prevention of workplace accidents and work-related illnesses; and preparing for any potential future health crises.


Diversity Europe Group members voice their expectations for the French Presidency

By the EESC Diversity Europe Group

As the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union gets going, French members of the Diversity Europe Group share their hopes about this semester, from empowering European democracy to shifting the focus from the EU to Europe's people.

Soon in the EESC/Cultural events

"Stay with us": the aftermath of Croatia's earthquake in pictures

The EESC is hosting a photo exhibition to mark one year since the catastrophic earthquake that hit Croatia in December 2020.

The Circular Economy goes musical

On 2 March the EESC will host a special show entitled "Music with Trash" as part of its Circular Economy Stakeholder (ECESP) Conference 2022.

"The truth about lies" soon to be uncovered

While the EESC is getting ready to welcome 99 secondary school students and their accompanying teachers to its 2022 youth event, entitled "The Truth about Lies. Youth challenging Disinformation", EESC members acting as mentors to the students are visiting the selected schools to meet and exchange with the delegations who will participate in YEYS.




Civil Society Days 2022

Entitled "The EU as a driver of shared prosperity – civil society for an economy that works for people and the planet", the 2022 Civil Society Days will be held on 15-17 March 2022.