In a debate at the EESC plenary session on 25 March, the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for an Economy that Works for People, Valdis Dombrovskis said that most of the national recovery and resilience plans (RRPs) are still at an early stage and that "there is still a lot of work to do before the plans are mature enough". He also stressed that trade policy has a key role to play in getting the EU economy back on track.
At its March plenary session, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hosted a debate with Olivér Várhelyi, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, to discuss the state of play of the accession of the Western Balkan partners. EESC members showed their convincement that integrating the Western Balkan partners in the EU is a geostrategic investment in peace and economic growth.
In a plenary session debate with the Commissioner for Equality, the EESC welcomed the new EU Disability Rights Strategy for the next decade, describing it as a key moment for the rights of persons with disabilities. Its implementation is even more important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic which is taking its heaviest toll on Europe's most vulnerable, including persons with disabilities.
Concrete proposals were handed to the European Commission's Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans by high school students from all over Europe, who took part in a virtual Youth Summit on Climate organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on 18-19 March 2021.
Italy's national anti-mafia prosecutor Federico Cafiero De Raho has called on Europe to act as a single country against organised crime, with enhanced monitoring systems and immediate judicial responses. An online conference hosted by the EESC discussed the ability of mafias to infiltrate the legal economy, and the even more dangerous threat this poses at a time of pandemic.
Reconstruction after the pandemic must be an opportunity to rebuild Europe on a new foundation of democratic participation. It would be a huge mistake if the fate and future of so many were to be decided by so few, the EESC 2021 Civil Society Days heard.
The projects which took home the prize are just a snapshot of the immense efforts undertaken by countless civil society organisations, companies and individuals on the ground, demonstrating that without them the price paid for the pandemic would be much higher
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted a resolution pointing out that organised civil society organisations can offer an invaluable contribution to the national recovery and resilience plans and must have a voice in this process.
The forthcoming Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) is a sign of new thinking at EU level, bringing citizens right into the heart of policy-making with concrete power to drive systematic change, said Commission Vice-President Dubravka Šuica at the EESC Plenary.
23 projects from the EU and the UK have received the award for their outstanding contribution to fighting COVID-19 and its disastrous consequences.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) announced the laureates of its Civil Solidarity Prize, launched in 2020 as a one-off award with the theme "Civil Society against COVID-19".