At a debate organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), experts and civil society representatives met to discuss pros and cons of the European Commission's recently presented package of climate, transport and energy proposals.
As renewed calls to set out EU-wide common standards for NGOs and associations gain momentum, civil society organisations have high hopes of the new European statute for associations, which will give NGOs and associations recognition at EU level and allow them to operate across borders, a right they do not currently enjoy – unlike their for-profit counterparts
As European trade unions battle with falling membership, the EU proposes to set a minimum threshold for the percentage of work contracts that have to be concluded by collective bargaining. Welcomed by the unions, the proposal has, however, been met with criticism by employers.
The hearing organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) highlighted the need for a reform of the EU budgetary rules applicable in the Member States in order to ensure a sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery and to secure the public investments required for the green and digital transition.
A hearing organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) discussed opportunities and challenges in the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans in the various Member States, revealing that civil society is still far from being effectively involved in the process. There were calls for improved consultations in the upcoming implementing phase, following the shortcomings at the drafting stage.
The new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change is a crucial step towards achieving climate neutrality and resilience by 2050. European civil society strongly supports the Commission's commitment to strengthening efforts on climate proofing, resilience building, prevention and preparedness. The floods occurring in Western Europe, just weeks after a record-breaking heatwave in the US and Canada, are fresh reminders of the pace of change.
Building talent partnerships with countries of origin and transit is a key policy in addressing migration. Europe has to shift the focus of migration policy's external dimension and make it part of a broader geopolitical and geo-economic agenda that will be given its rightful place other policies. Otherwise, the new pact will be too weak to deal with the rising numbers of migration flows.
The Commission's initiatives on a European child guarantee and an EU Strategy on the rights of the child call on European and national policy-makers to work toward the common good of all children growing up in the EU. Ambitious and bold in their approach to ensuring a life free from any discrimination for each and every child, both initiatives have won the EESC's approval.
Rapidly developed to cushion the severe effects the pandemic was expected to have on businesses and workers, SURE has helped Member States to protect employment and keep EU economies afloat. With an evaluation of the scheme underway, there is an ongoing debate as to whether SURE should be here to stay as an ad hoc system of protection to help prevent job losses and provide income support during future serious crises
According to a Deloitte study, there are conflicting opinions on the new 5G technology. Further study is therefore needed, and the debate held at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) addressed civil society organisations' concerns surrounding the issue.