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Editorial

Dear Readers,

At the end of June, we said goodbye to the Romanian presidency of the Council of the European Union and, as always, a new semester means a new presidency. For the third time in its history, Finland takes on the rotating presidency, this time with the slogan 'Sustainable Europe, Sustainable Future'. I am convinced: Finland will be working hard to make the EU’s global leadership in climate action a reality on the ground.

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Diary Dates

22 July 2019, Athens, Greece

EESC president, Luca Jahier, speaker at the Greek Economic and Social Council

23-24 July 2019, Riga, Latvia

Public hearing and fact-finding mission: Shaping the EU agenda for disability rights 2020-2030 
 

In short

EESC goes to Spain to assess impact of new economic models on Europe's single market

An EESC delegation recently met representatives of trade unions, NGOs and local government in Malaga, Spain, as part of a study on new economic models aimed at assessing their long-term impact on the EU's economic model.

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Former President of EESC Workers' Group Gabriele Bischoff elected to European Parliament

Gabriele Bischoff, who until recently chaired the European Economic and Social Committee's Workers' Group, has been elected MEP in the S&D Group. She stood for election with the SPD party in Germany's Berlin constituency.

 

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Dilyana Slavova takes part in a high-level meeting on EU support to Tunisia

Dilyana Slavova, president of the EESC's External Relations Section, took part in an international event hosted by the EESC on 3 July on "The social and solidarity economy in Tunisia: the role and support of the EU", with the participation of other high-level speakers including Samir Taïeb, Minister of Agriculture of Tunisia, and Michael Koehler, Director of Neighbourhood South at the European Commission.

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EESC News

EESC calls for socially fair energy transition and permanent dialogue with citizens

The EESC June plenary hosted a debate with commissioner Maroš Šefčovič on the future of Europe's Energy Union and set out its stance on the proposed EU strategy for the long-term reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

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Civil Society Days cautiously optimistic about sustainability of democracy in Europe

European citizens should be both vigilant and engaged, the Civil Society Days 2019 heard. The event, organised by the EESC's Liaison Group at the EESC on 12 and 13 June 2019, focused on Sustainable Democracy in Europe.

EESC president Luca Jahier said in his opening speech: "We need to address the climate crisis, the impact of which we are already feeling. We need to address the social crisis and contain inequality...

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EESC urges EU leaders to strengthen international role of the euro

In a recently adopted opinion, the EESC has called on EU leaders to step up efforts to strengthen the international role of the euro. A strong euro would contribute to the wellbeing of EU citizens and businesses, uphold common values and promote common interests, the EESC argues.

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Macro-regional strategies: EESC urges improvement

The EESC calls for macro-regional strategies to be improved and presents a set of policy proposals in an exploratory opinion to tap their full potential.

The proposals, which were presented in June, are based on an in-depth analysis of the existing macro-regional strategies. This analysis revealed that they have served as a useful tool for cohesion policy and enhanced integration and cooperation so far, yet have failed to meet expectations in terms of helping to reduce social and territorial disparities and boost environmental sustainability.

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Grand Départ of the Tour de France - EESC hosts event on clean mobility

To mark the Grand Départ of the Tour de France the EESC organized a presentation of a book on Italian cycling champion and wartime hero Gino Bartali with the author, journalist Alberto Toscano, on 3 July. The event also included a debate on clean mobility.

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Media should let go of a charity approach to disability

With their often one-dimensional or pitiful portrayal of persons with disabilities, wrought with myths and misconceptions, and a continually insufficient offering of news and entertainment programmes that meet the criteria of full accessibility, European media still have a long way to go before they communicate about disability in an accurate and inclusive way.

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Essential services should be made available to everyone

Better implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, with a focus on promoting essential services, was one of the topics of the June plenary session, where members adopted an own-initiative opinion on this topic by Raymond Hencks and Krzysztof Balon.

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EU leaders urged to make Europe world champion of sustainable development

The national Economic and Social Councils and the European Economic and Social Committee sent a message to EU leaders from Rome, where they met on 13-14 June to discuss their role in the sustainable development of Europe and the European Pillar of Social Rights.

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The EU should offer a more comprehensive response to rule of law breaches

The European Economic and Social Committee has called on the EU to adopt a more proactive approach to tackling the increase in breaches of the rule of law across the EU, amid concerns that they could escalate into a full-blown crisis in democracy and fundamental rights and freedoms.

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EESC set to support Finnish presidency's climate action

Committing the Union to significant emissions cuts to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 is the main aim of Finland's EU presidency, which began on 1 July. The EESC will lend its support to the presidency's climate action and continue its own work towards the creation of an EU enabling framework for citizen and community-led climate initiatives.

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News from the Groups

Lowering corporate taxes boosts investments, recent study shows

by the EESC's Employers' Group

Corporate taxes are the most harmful form of taxation for economic growth. Contrary to public perception, there has been no reduction in corporate tax revenues in relation to GDP in the last 40 years. Countries that have reduced their effective corporate tax rates in recent years have seen increases in investment in the following years. These are some of the conclusions of a recent study commissioned by the European Economic and Social Committee at the request of the Employers' Group.

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EESC's Workers' Group debates employment, convergence and social rights in Romania

by the EESC's Workers' Group

The Workers' Group held an extraordinary meeting in Bucharest, Romania on 25 June, focusing on labour rights and social convergence: a Europe of common values. Oliver Röpke, the Workers' Group president, congratulated the Romanian Presidency for several achievements that were crucial to improving working people's lives, such as the establishment of the European Labour Authority and the directives on work-life balance and transparent and predictable working conditions.

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Arno Metzler, president of the Diversity Europe Group, takes part in the General Assembly of UNAF

by the EESC's Diversity Europe Group

On 22 and 23 June, the French National Union of Family Associations (UNAF) held its General Assembly in the city of Reims. Mr Metzler was invited to attend the event by Ms Basset, vice-president of UNAF and Group III member. The main theme discussed was participatory democracy and the role of intermediary bodies.

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Soon in the EESC/Cultural events

EESC to showcase Finland's culture in special evening

The EESC is organising a Finnish evening on 17 July to mark the beginning of Finland's presidency of the Council of the EU. The event will feature music and dances typical of Finland's culture and traditions.

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