Highlights of the EEESC's 576th Plenary session

This month at the EESC plenary: Bielarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and war in Ukraine one year on – Web streaming  Agenda

The EESC will host the following debates:

  • 22 February, 3.00 pm - "The European Neighbourhood Policy – the Belarussian way", with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, leader of the Belarusian democratic movement.
  • 22 February, 5.00 pm –"Supporting labour market developments" with Stefano Scarpetta, director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
  • 23 February, 11.00 am - "Impact of the war on people in Ukraine and in the EU", with Oleksandra Matviichuk, head of Ukraine's Centre for Civic Liberties, Nobel Peace laureate for 2022, and Lora Pappa, founder and president of Greek NGO METAdrasi – Action for Migration Development

Key reports to be put to the vote:

Consumer issues

  • Short-term rentals (INT/1009, rapporteur Marinel Dănuț MURESAN, Employers, RO)
    This opinion takes up the Europen Commission's proposal to address the issue of short term rentals (STRs) through online platforms, which have grown exponentially in recent years, while the lack of data makes it difficult for authorities at all levels to regulate this sector. The EESC proposes that local authorities should be requested to carry out periodic impact assessments to measure the effects of STRs on the life of local communities. It also suggests introducing a system of insurance policies, to be taken by hosts, to ensure that standards are maintained without placing a burden a local authorities. It also recommends a standardised approach to the to level of information that is required for all STR activities across the EU. More


  • Supporting labour market developments: how to maintain employability, boost productivity and develop skills, especially in SMEs (SOC/722, rapporteur Mariya MINCHEVA - Employers, BG)
    The transformation of the European labour market requires good understanding of what type of skills are needed for future labour market transformations, including in SMEs in order to maintain sustainable employability, contribute to a high level of productivity and reduce labour shortages. The EESC emphasises that SMEs should be encouraged to cooperate in sharing costs for research into skills needs and pool their capacities to respond to the challenges of the twin transitions and skills development. More
  • Energy policy and the labour market: consequences for employment in regions undergoing energy transitions (SOC/718, rapporteur Maria del Carmen BARRERA CHAMORRRO – Workers, ES)
    The EESC is concerned at the serious economic, occupational and social effects of the energy transition in the short and medium terms. In its view, the EU's plan for a green transition does not sufficiently take into account the effect of the transition on jobs. The EESC proposes focusing on the relationship between energy transition, labour markets and regional development to prevent the creation of deep divides between countries and regions within a country, in line with a renewed cohesion policy. It suggests using indicators, such as the decarbonisation employment potential, to measure progress. It also calls on the EU institutions and Member States to involve the social partners and civil society organisations more effectively when making energy transition policies. More


  • Annual Sustainable Growth Survey 2023 (ECO/599, rapporteur Gonçalo LOBO XAVIER - Employers, PT)
    The EESC takes a look at the Commission's Communication on the Annual Sustainable Growth Survey 2023. Its recommendations focus on ensuring fair working conditions, effective competition and better consideration of civil society concerns. The Committee also calls for a moderate, realistic and balanced approach to addressing inflation, involving everyone in the search for a solution that will benefit the whole EU. About the energy crisis and the twin transition, the EU needs to balance the demand for energy supply and support measures that will boost efficiency in all areas. Finally, the EESC urges the Commission to invest in better communication to ensure better public understanding of the European project. More.
  • Orientations for a reform of the EU economic governance framework (ECO/597, rapporteur Krister ANDERSSON, Employers, SE)
    In this own-initiative opinion, the EESC provides its views on the Commission's proposed orientations for a reform of the EU economic governance framework. Since the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, the EU's economic governance framework has helped to create conditions conducive to economic stability, growth and higher employment in Europe. However, while the EU's economic governance framework has evolved over time, it has also grown increasingly complex and not all of its instruments and procedures have stood the test of time. In the opinion, the EESC welcomes the Commission's efforts and agrees on the need for a swift agreement ahead of the Member States' budgetary processes for 2024. The EESC stresses that fiscal structural plans have to ensure that debt-to-GDP ratios are put on a downward path or stay at prudent levels. It also insists that, for a reformed framework to be successful, ownership of the process is key. More.