The EESC calls for greater relevance to be given to economic, social and cultural rights, in particular to the protection of labour standards enshrined in the ILO Conventions which it considers a key pillar to democracy development.
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The EESC welcomes a banking union to place the banking sector on a more sound footing and restore confidence in the euro as part of a longer-term vision for economic and fiscal integration. Shifting the supervision of banks to the European level is a key part of this process, which must subsequently be combined with other steps such as a common system for deposit protection, and integrated bank crisis management. A banking union would represent a step towards the euro zone and the EU as a whole embarking on a virtuous cycle overcoming its design flaws and enabling the single market to regain competitiveness.
"The opinion is therefore based on the realisation that the handicap beleaguering Europe now is not so much delays in building its internal market as the need to establish a strong economic, industrial and technological identity in the context of globalisation. The EESC believes that discussion therefore needs to consider all the costs of non-Europe resulting from the failure to complete European integration.
The approach advocated in the opinion seeks to reduce costs, optimise expenditure, maximise opportunities and provide an appropriate response for meeting current challenges and finding a positive way out of the crisis which will benefit everyone.
• The EESC acknowledges the quality of civil society's contribution prior to publication of the communication, as well as the efforts made by the Commission to implement the trade-related aspects of the Agenda for Change. It also welcomes the attention given to the evaluation of trade policies in this communication.
• The EESC regrets that this new communication heralds no significant change to EU policy on the link between trade and development policies.
• The EESC reiterates its recommendation to incorporate sustainable development provisions into free-trade agreements and to provide for procedures enabling ex post analysis of these agreements by the EESC.
• The EESC recalls the importance of producing sui generis development strategies that combine domestic and trade policies with a view to sustainable and inclusive growth.
The Mediterranean Sea accounts for over 70% of the world's nautical tourism, which creates very significant spillover benefits for its coastal countries. This form of tourism is hampered by differing national laws in areas such as the registration of recreational craft, navigation licences and safety and tax measures, to mention the most important.
This is the second Commission's Communication and the second EESC opinion on this subject. Although the EESC is generally supportive of the action plan, it stresses the need for more emphasis on building up the capacity of EU manufacturing companies which satisfy the market pull for new technologies. The opinion draws attention to essential background factors which jeopardise the efficiency of the action plan, for example scarcity of venture capital, lagging state aid modernisation and unclear governance of the project.