This leaflet is part of a series of publications published in the context of the cultural events organised by the EESC.
This brochure is based on the full Annual Activity Report 2016, issued in June 2017, which is the European Economic and Social Committee's main annual tool for reporting to the budgetary authority.
It provides an overview of all the Committee's activities in 2016.
The principal areas of activity of the Section for External Relations (REX) include monitoring relations between the European Union and the countries and regions with which the EU has formal relations, and developing relations with civil society in these countries and regions, particularly in the candidate countries.
SMEs are the backbone of the EU economy and have been placed in the focus of European policy following the adoption of the Small Business Act in 2008. This study makes a comprehensive overview of EU support initiatives for SMEs in the period 2007-2015 with the aim to assess the effectiveness of EU SME policies – both in terms of their formulation and implementation.
Digitalisation is transforming business landscapes and the world of work, and redefining the boundaries of production, consumption and distribution. This has created tremendous opportunities, as new products, processes and techniques have emerged, but has also created threats, as new ways of employment pose new challenges to employers and employees. The overall consequences on labour markets are, however, still highly uncertain, which is reflected in the wide variation in the outcomes of the existing research.
The publication is a summary of the conference "Does the EU encourage private sector investment" that took place on 11 May 2017 in Valletta, Malta. The conference was jointly organised by the Employers' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee and all major Maltese employers' organisations: Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, Malta Employers' Association (MEA), Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) and Malta Chamber of SMEs (GRTU).
The EESC adopted its contribution to the European Commission's 2018 Work Programme on 5 July 2017. In this contribution, the EESC calls on the Commission to adopt sustainable development as an overarching approach to its work programme, with reference to the three "pillars" of sustainability: i) strengthening the economic foundations of Europe; ii) fostering its social dimension; and iii) facilitating the transition towards a low-carbon and circular economy.
This integrated report assembles inputs from the national Economic and Social Councils (and the Liaison Group, an NGO umbrella organisation) and gives an overview of the involvement of organised civil society in the European Semester, highlighting the different ways in which organised civil society interacts with governments in the framework of the European Semester. The purpose is to make the Semester more democratic and more efficient, by identifying problem areas and disseminating best practices across the entire European Union.
In the second half of 2017, Estonia will take on the presidency of the EU Council for the first time.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) opened its doors to the general public on Sunday 17 May, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
This year, the EESC focused on the future of Europe – while commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome – and talked about what the EU has achieved over the last 60 years: benefits of the citizens including free movement, single currency, research and innovations, environment, etc. and challenges for the future.