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EESC puts forward blueprint for Future of Europe

The EU must get closer to its citizens and become the global leader in sustainable development, argues the EESC in a bold opinion on the future of the EU. The Committee calls for a new EU strategy which takes a holistic and cross-sectoral approach

centred around Europeans' needs and sustainability and it puts forward policy recommendations covering eleven priorities. A new overarching strategy to implement the 2030 Agenda must be backed up by an ambitious EU budget.

The EESC's policy recommendations relate to eleven priorities, including a governance priority. Under this priority the EESC recommends that all internal and external EU policies should be coherent and in line with the SDGs, allowing for the principles of efficiency and proportionality.

Under the priority "people's Europe", the EESC advocates pursuing measures to further enhance civic participation in EU policy-making in order to regain people's support for and faith in the process of EU integration.

Enhanced communication on EU policies should be another priority for the new strategy. Substantial, credible and lively information could help, amongst other things, raise citizens' awareness about the EU's achievements and the value of common action.

According to the policy recommendations under the sustainable development priority, the future strategy should deliver on the EU's international commitments on climate, biodiversity and water. This means that it must at least ensure full and immediate implementation of the Paris Agreement and speed up the fair and sustainable transition to a high level of renewable energy supply.

The eleven priorities also include a strong social dimension, which should enhance convergence within the EU, for instance by improving and increasing investment in education systems across the board. The development of a common, comprehensive and balanced approach to migration policy should be another objective.

Finally, European business must become a stronger sustainable global player. Sustainable businesses would cope successfully with the digital transformation and remain drivers of innovation and creativity. A sustainable economy involves free and fair trade, specific rules for public goods and services and fair taxation.

EESC President Luca Jahier will present the EESC's blueprint for the Future of Europe at the conference The Future of Europe. Perspectives of Contemporary Developments which will take place in Sibiu alongside the 9 May summit on the Future of Europe.

For a quick summary of the EESC's blueprint for the future of Europe, see: europa.eu/!wY47tn.  (jk)