By drawing on CCMI's analytical capacity on industrial change and its shaping in the industrial paradigm, the opinion will focus on the analysis of industrial transformation in a way to make it a Just Transition which is meant as beneficial for all European citizens.
Information memo: Anticipation of structural and sectoral change and reshaping industrial cultures – up to new borders of recovery and resilience in the different parts of Europe (own-initiative opinion – Gr II)
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the health of Europe's citizens and its economy hard, notably its industrial production. The European companies in the sectors with high consumption of resources and energy (REIIs) were already in a precarious situation, and are now undergoing this further, unexpected, crisis.
The objective of the opinion will be to analyse how the digital revolution in the economy is transforming retail and wholesale, how it is forcing fundamental changes: new business models and channels are emerging, data is becoming core business, customers buy more online, new digital products are offered, new skills are needed, stores in towns must evolve and reinvent themselves to stay relevant.
This opinion deals with the new Strategy for the future of Schengen issued by the European Commission last June. The Strategy is part of a broader effort to update and strengthen Schengen, which also includes a proposal to amend the regulation on the Schengen evaluation and monitoring mechanism. In this opinion, the EESC welcomes the Commission's Strategy towards a fully functioning and resilient Schengen area and reaffirms its full support for the principles underlying Schengen cooperation. Nevertheless the opinion also advances some concerns, such as: reports of fundamental rights violations at the EU's external borders; the semi-permanent reintroduction of border controls at parts of Member States internal borders and the negative economic and social impact this has had on businesses, and in particular frontier workers, border communities and Euroregions.
This opinion comments on the new EU strategic framework on health and safety at work for the period 2021-2027. The framework sets out the key actions needed to improve workers' health and safety over the coming years and focuses on three objectives: managing change brought by green, digital and demographic transitions as well as changes to the traditional work environment, improving prevention of accidents and illnesses, and increasing preparedness for any potential future crises. The EESC broadly agrees with the vision set out in the strategic framework but proposes also additional measures and initiatives to be integrated in the strategy.
The EESC welcomes the proposal's intention to implement the EPSR and other EU initiatives aimed at making quality and inclusive education a reality within the green and digital transitions. The EESC calls on Member States to ensure that blended learning is not detrimental to the social value of education or to the relevance of face-to-face teaching. They need to ensure that blended learning is established to support the quality and inclusion of education, in particular for children in need. The EESC notes that well-developed blended learning needs to be supported by sustainable public investment and should be implemented in curricula with a whole-school approach, taking into consideration the needs of teachers, students and their families.
The EESC is pleased that the proposal puts health, safety and fundamental rights at its centre and is global in scope. In line with its long advocated "human-in-command" approach to AI, the EESC strongly recommends that the AIA provide for certain decisions to remain the prerogative of humans.