An EESC hearing points to the need to increase the employment rate of persons with disabilities, especially young people. Despite legal efforts, data shows that many of them are still facing discrimination in the world of work due to stereotypes portraying them as unproductive.
Often a source of labour exploitation, the employment of illegally staying migrants is also a pull factor for migrant smuggling which claims thousands of lives every year of people embarking on dangerous journeys to reach Europe. Both criminal practices should be met with resolute action at national and EU level
According to the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), it was high time to update the existing TEN-T rules, taking into account the current policy context and the lessons learned from the 2013 Regulation. Focused on cohesion, the new proposal aims to improve passenger and freight connectivity across the entire Union, through an increasingly multimodal and resilient transport network.
With its new trade strategy, the EU will get tougher on its trading partners, giving sustainability centre stage. The EESC also firmly believes that civil society organisations and the social partners should be given a seat at the table, to ensure that the benefits emerging from this new trade policy are genuinely distributed among all participants, both in the EU and in the partner countries.
The European Union has an obligation to defend and emphasise our fundamental values, including respect for human dignity, freedom, equality, and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. For these reasons, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) strongly supported the establishment of the European Commission's Strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life at its March plenary.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) backs the Commission's proposal to update the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. The new rules will fight structural long-term underinvestment in construction by introducing EU minimum energy performance standards, new requirements for Energy Performance Certificates and a building "renovation passport".
Ensuring the EU's open strategic autonomy in the future may well require a geopolitical focus, but its social aspects should not be neglected, says the EESC in a recent opinion on the Strategic Foresight Report 2021, which it finds lacking in this respect.
In a recent opinion, the EESC backed the EU's legal initiative on regulating platform work as a precondition for ensuring fair working conditions for all types of workers. However, the opinion did not get the support of its Employers' Group, which sees the EU's legal measure as unnecessary and believes it will stifle the innovation and investment brought about by platforms
Following the publication of the evaluations on the shortcomings of the Environmental Criminal Directive – ECD, the Commission decided to replace it with a new EU Directive aimed at making the protection of the environment through criminal law more precise, legally secure and effective. In the opinion "Improving environmental protection through criminal law", adopted at the March plenary session, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) made concrete proposals to improve the legislation, in order to make it truly effective, proportionate and dissuasive.
Trillions of euros are needed for Europe's economic recovery. EU proposals for accessible investment data and long-term funding must be more flexible and promote a transparent level playing field, to include more investors and businesses in capital markets.