This opinion presents the EESC's contribution to the European Commission's strategy to promote decent work not only within the EU but throughout the world. Decent work is unfortunately beyond reach for millions of workers across the globe. The Committee welcomes the Commission's initiative to promote decent work in all sectors and fields on the local and national level, within the EU and beyond. The EESC underlines that the EU must use all its policies, both internal and external, to promote and ensure decent work worldwide.
This opinion presents the EESC's contribution to the current discussion on the future of care and health across Europe and to the European Care Strategy. The Committee recommends setting common minimum standards to ensure that every one living in the EU has access to affordable, accessible and high-quality care, that there is proper investment in the care services and in health, that the health sector, care providers and health workers are properly recognised and valued, including through investment in skills, decent working conditions, and the creation of quality jobs.
The EESC considers that the proposed guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States are appropriate as they address the most urgent issues in the labour market. In current turbulent times, steps must be taken to strengthen both the role of the social partners and their involvement in designing and implementing employment, social and economic reforms and policies, including by building their capacity. As labour shortages are on the rise again, effective measures should be implemented in order to encourage the social partners to work on skills needs at national level, with action adapted to individual sectors and local situations. With fast technological change and the twin transition, the "lifespan" of previously acquired skills and competencies is getting ever shorter and lifelong acquisition of relevant skills and competencies is increasingly important for both workers and businesses. Labour mobility within the EU and legal labour migration should be encouraged.
The Commission is proposing new EU legislation to prevent and combat child sexual abuse online. The proposed rules will oblige providers to detect, report and remove child sexual abuse material on their services. These rules will include risk mitigation measures; targeted detection obligations; effective removal; a solid oversight mechanisms and judicial redress. Together with this proposal, the Commission is also putting forward a new European strategy for a Better Internet for Kids to improve age-appropriate digital services and to ensure that every child is protected, empowered and respected online.
The EESC points at the need to improve youth participation, tackling in particular the lack of youth democratic representation and the lack of a youth perspective outside of the traditional youth policy domain. The EU Youth Test should not substitute meaningful engagement with young people in general and should complement existing participatory mechanisms. It should be part of the Better Regulation Toolbox as a separate tool, since future generations and young people deserve specific attention. The EESC encourages the EU institutions and Member States to implement measures and mechanisms that ensure that the youth perspective is taken into account in every policy field. Suitable resources should be made available for meaningful youth participation in policy-making.
The EESC stresses that the rise of cross-border teleworking pose challenges to the international taxation systems and invites the Member States and the European Commission to work together to find solutions for the new situation. The Committee encourages the European Commission to consider whether a one-stop shop, like in the VAT area, could be set up for cross-border teleworkers to allow the employees and employers to reduce tax disputes and help to ensure that taxes are levied correctly.
In relation to digital taxation the EESC deems it crucial for both Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 of the OECD to be implemented within the EU as soon as it is feasible, achieving a high degree of consistency with the international agreement that will be negotiated within the OECD/G20 venue. The Committee stresses that properly devised international tax laws on digital businesses are instrumental in preventing tax evasion and tax avoidance practices, as well as in designing a fair, stable and progressive taxation system.
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.