The EESC issues between 160 and 190 opinions and information reports a year.
It also organises several annual initiatives and events with a focus on civil society and citizens’ participation such as the Civil Society Prize, the Civil Society Days, the Your Europe, Your Say youth plenary and the ECI Day.
The EESC brings together representatives from all areas of organised civil society, who give their independent advice on EU policies and legislation. The EESC's326 Members are organised into three groups: Employers, Workers and Various Interests.
The EESC has six sections, specialising in concrete topics of relevance to the citizens of the European Union, ranging from social to economic affairs, energy, environment, external relations or the internal market.
Current: Task Force on “Rebranding Capital Markets Union” took place at the headquarters of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)
Task Force on “Rebranding Capital Markets Union” took place at the headquarters of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)
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Over 50 participants were invited to take part at the CEPS Task Force on Rebranding Capital Markets Union (CMU) on 10 December 2018, coming from European Institutions, financial entities, banks, think-thanks etc. The Chairman of the meeting was Mr Vitor Constancio, former European Central Bank Vice-President.
The European Economic and Social Committee was represented at this task-force by Mr Mihai Ivascu, Member of Group III – Diversity Europe, in his role as EESC Rapporteur of the opinions “ECO/446 – Economic and Monetary Union Package” and “INT/856 – EU Small Listed Companies”.
The discussions were focused on the progress that has already been made on the Capital Markets Union, developments in the right direction and aspects that need to be improved, should the CMU be finalised. Mr Ivascu mentioned some of the conclusions of the EESC opinions on CMU progress, supporting the effort of the European Commission, which has put on the table 31 out of the 33 initiatives announced in the CMU Action Plan. Unfortunately, only small steps are being made due to the lack of political agreement to amend and promote these legislative proposals. Mr Ivascu expressed his concern regarding the lack of ambition in the Council and the complacency on the part of Member States in the past few years, especially since the effects of the economic and financial crises are not so evident anymore.
Furthermore, Mr Ivascu pointed out that the capital markets needed an immediate "revolution", bearing in mind that the main goals are better access to financing and the protection of the investors’ interests. Striking the right balance between these two and then acting on this is the best way forward. Mr Ivascu then commended the Commission's initiatives regarding SME’s access to finance and mentioned that the EESC was the first institution to deliver its opinion on the SME Growth Markets proposal. The main recommendations from the EESC are to offer more financial education and promote entrepreneurial skills across the EU, improve communication and increase the involvement of the SME associations, social partners, chambers of commerce etc. in the whole process, to attract institutional investors to these markets.
During the meeting Mr Ivascu also presented further EESC recommendations. These included the need to: amplify the role of the European Securities and Market Authority ; harmonise taxation and provide tax incentives for investors, target housing financing, promote sustainable finance, harmonize insolvency rules, etc.
The second meeting of the Task Force is set to take place on 6 February 2019.
The EESC supports the Commission's Fin Tech Action Plan and considers that the development of FinTech can deliver a number of benefits to both European businesses and their clients. Measures included in the action plan on improving cyber security and the resilience of the financial sector are important, but should be supplemented by rules to ensure uniformity in the development of FinTech in the EU. Similarly, the Committee believes that the level of regulation for FinTech should be equivalent to that in the financial sector.
The EESC calls on the Commission to identify possible rules for companies offering cloud services with regard to their responsibility for securing the data they host.