COVID-19 has blatantly exposed all the cracks and fissures in the European health systems and shown the EU to be unprepared for dealing with major health emergencies. But the first building blocks of the future European Health Union, recently proposed by the Commission, look promising and may give the EU the right weapons to fight pandemics in the future
At its March plenary session, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an opinion issued by the Consultative Commission on Industrial Change (CCMI) which proposes supporting investment in the exploration and extraction of critical raw materials, as well as in the use of secondary materials from wastes, as this is essential to the green transition in the EU.
The first COVID-19 lockdowns saw the number of teleworkers in the EU workforce skyrocket from 5% to 40%. One year later and with telework here to stay, it is still difficult to deliver a proper assessment of its impact on employers, employees and society as a whole. The EESC points to the need for more research to be carried out and for a long-term perspective to be taken, with a view to harnessing the benefits and mitigating the risks of this form of work
With the new blueprint, the European Commission shows it is determined to stop Europe from losing out to the US and Asia in both basic and applied research, patents and high-tech products and services, says the EESC in a report adopted at the March plenary.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomes the Commission's new Action Plan on non-performing loans, but believes that it lacks new proposals fit for COVID-19 times, leaving Europe to face an extraordinary time with rules written for ordinary times.
At the request of the EU Portuguese Presidency, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has evaluated the achievements of the past 25 years of EU railway policy and singled out areas for improvement, tapping into the potential of the European Year of Rail 2021.
Accurate data collection and adequate policies by the Member States are necessary to ensure the effective implementation of the EU anti-racism action plan and to unmask racism and ethnic discrimination, which has taken a turn for the worse during the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) addresses the state of play of the Energy Union and the national energy and climate plans, warning that the 2050 EU energy and climate objectives can only be reached with a change of pace in the transition and that citizens must really be put at the heart of the process.
Designed to empower citizens and build more resilient democracies across the EU, the European Democracy Action Plan is being hailed by many as a timely step in the right direction. However, there are concerns that the plan does not go far enough in its ambitions, an EESC hearing reveals
Europe's rural and urban territories are not developing evenly. It is critical to foster policies that curb this trend, ensure a fair and sustainable transition to a wellbeing economy in all areas and promote population rebalancing.