The EESC welcomes the proposal that follows feedback received by stakeholders and Member States in the first implementation period.
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The EESC welcomes the fact that the Commission has made it clear that research and innovation must continue to be an essential EU priority.
The EESC regrets that the Commission has not taken this opportunity to anticipate the changes connected to driverless motor vehicles, despite the comments included in the impact assessment accompanying the proposal. The EESC recommends that the Commission set, as regards harmonisation of minimum amounts of cover, a final deadline for completing the implementation of minimum compensation thresholds.
The majority of road accidents are down to human error alone, so a comprehensive approach to road safety is needed. It should cover driver behaviour, the working conditions and skills of professional drivers, and infrastructure.
The EESC believes that AI and automation processes have enormous potential to improve European society in terms of innovation and positive transformation, but they also pose significant challenges, risks and concerns.
The EESC agrees with the vision outlined in the communication. It believes that in the course of the changes generated by digital transformation, people must be at the center of care. The digitalisation processes must help healthcare professionals to spend more time with patients. It must be ensured that healthcare professions are appropriately staffed with qualified personnel and equipped with appropriate digital skills. Digital tools must be a lever to develop new forms of organisation in health and care systems.
The EESC flags up the potential of AI and would like to give its input to efforts to lay the groundwork for the social transformations which will go hand in hand with the rise of AI and robotics.
The EU has one of the world's most open investment regimes, and collectively EU Member States have the fewest restrictions in the world on foreign direct investment (FDI). The OECD expressly acknowledged this in its FDI Regulatory Restrictiveness Index which measures statutory barriers against foreign investment in over 60 countries.
The Commission's reflection paper of 10 May 2017 on Harnessing Globalisation recognised increasing concerns about foreign investors' strategic acquisitions of European companies with key technologies. These concerns called into question the capacity of the current regulatory framework to address them.
A major effect of the exponentially increasing productivity is that well-being creation (re-) turns from the production of lower costing quantities into the provision of specialized, certified qualities. In that sense the integrated use-value in the supplied goods and services becomes increasingly an important feature that gradually countervails the emphasis on the exchange value (prices). This development is especially advantageous for European producers: European competitiveness concentrates on the ability to provide specialized, diverse qualities, rather than competing in prices against regions with more extended economies of scale.
The EESC is committed to open and fair trade and recognises its value as a driver of growth and jobs. Therefore, the EESC calls for a level playing field between European and third country exporting producers, and for effective trade defence instruments. The EESC supports the Commission's proposal that the dumping margin should be calculated not using the standard methodology, but on the basis of benchmarks that take account of significantly distorted production and sale costs. The EESC points out that in its 2016 opinion on preserving sustainable jobs and growth in the steel industry, it already called for the standard methodology not to be used in anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into Chinese imports as long as the country failed to meet the EU's five criteria for market economy status. The EESC welcomes the Commission's intention of using specific criteria to determine whether there are significant distortions in the market situation.