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At its January plenary session, the EESC adopted an information report on the Implementation of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland. The report shows that UK organised civil society is strongly in favour of a deeper and more constructive relationship with their EU counterparts and the EU as a whole. This could contribute to the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and help maximise the potential of the EU-UK Trade Cooperation Agreement.


At its January plenary session, the EESC debated the EU's "Strategic Compass" vision for security and defence, pointing out that security should be understood broadly, far beyond military defence. Civilian and preventive security policy should complement military defence capabilities, with NATO being the EU's key security provider. Civil society should not be a bystander in security issues. In fact, as proven in the current war in Ukraine, it can have a stabilising role in times of crisis.


The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) backs a new and strengthened governance of the oceans, calling for increased international cooperation, the safeguarding of the well-being of the marine environment and the protection of fish stocks from overfishing, given their vital importance for local communities.


In an opinion adopted at its January plenary, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) states that nobody should be left behind and that it is essential to step up the coordination of national fiscal policies with the monetary policy of the European Central Bank.


To prevent forced labour, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) emphasises the importance of international cooperation and the institutional anchoring of organised civil society in the Commission's new proposal. The Committee recommends guidelines to assist companies, a specific database with risk indicators and a benchmarking system.


The technical limit value for asbestos exposure should ultimately be set at a lower level than the Commission is currently proposing in a recent Directive regulating the protection of workers from dangers of occupational asbestos exposure, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) said in an opinion adopted at its plenary session in December.


A new social contract for Latin America is needed, ensuring political accountability, inclusion, social protection and quality employment, said the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in its own-initiative opinion on the socio-economic situation in Latin America, following the pandemic. Freely and democratically organised civil societies are the best starting point.