EESC opinion: COVID-19 - Sustaining EU Preparedness and Response: Looking ahead
The Sustainable Products Initiative (SPI) package aims to make every aspect of the design, production, use and sale of products placed on the EU market more environmentally-friendly and circular to deliver on the sustainability and climate objectives. The proposals of the package will introduce a new era where sustainable products become the norm as well as Europe's resource independence.
Information memo: Sustainable products initiative, including Eco-design Directive
The EESC believes that the single market is essentially about achieving social and economic convergence aimed at reducing inequalities and ensuring that worsening social imbalances do not end up becoming serious obstacles to European integration. The EESC recommends a coordinated approach between Member States on the marketing of products affected by the crisis in Ukraine. The crisis caused by Russia’s aggression has created formidable supply restrictions. An "open strategic autonomy" should be adopted, especially in key sectors, to help build resilience, diversification and an ambitious trade agenda.
This Directive will set out a horizontal framework to foster the contribution of businesses operating in the single market to the respect of the human rights and environment in their own operations and through their value chains, by identifying, preventing, mitigating and accounting for their adverse human rights, and environmental impacts, and having adequate governance, management systems and measures in place to this end.
Most consumers say they want to pay attention to the environmental impact, but complain that only partial information is available. In its opinion, the EESC stresses the need to make every effort to ensure that better information on reparability is made available to consumers and to combat unfair practices.
This opinion will assess the chances and challenges that SMEs face due to the green transition and will call the EU and the Member States to provide them with a favourable business environment, proper funding and support measures.
In the Declaration from the EU-Western Balkans Summit held on 6 October 2021 in Brdo, Slovenia, leaders from the EU and the Western Balkans launched a dedicated Agenda for the Western Balkans on Innovation, Research, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport - a comprehensive, long-term cooperation strategy that aims to "promote scientific excellence as well as reform of the region’s education systems, create further opportunities for the youth, and help prevent brain drain". ...