A stronger budget, more synergies between networks, continued technical support, reaffirmed commitment to investment in electricity projects, and dual‑use of civilian‑military infrastructure. In the opinion put together by Aurel Laurențiu Plosceanu and Graham Watson, which was approved at the EESC plenary on 19 September 2018, the EESC broadly supports the new Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) regulation for the period 2021-2027 and tells the Commission where there is room for improvement.
Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society (TEN) - Related News
The new regulation on the digital single market proposed by the European Commission will not only protect e-commerce consumers, but - for the first time ever - SMEs too. Business operating on online platforms and search engines will be able to resolve possible conflicts out of court. This is the progress highlighted by the opinion drafted by Marco Vezzani and adopted by the EESC plenary session on 19 September 2018.
The transition to decentralised, renewable and digitalised forms of energy supply would not only have positive effects on the environment, it would also economically benefit the regions of the European Union. In its own-initiative opinion drafted by Lutz Ribbe, the EESC points out that there are at least four reasons why smart energy production would provide economic benefits at regional level and asks the European Commission to systematically link the future regional and social cohesion policy to the Energy Union initiative.
Transport plays a key enabling role in realising sustainable development. It contributes to the economy, trade and employment, but, on the other hand, it may face issues relating to the environment, traffic and safety. In its own-initiative opinion drafted by Tellervo Kylä-Harakka-Ruonala, the EESC reviews the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, by providing a cross-cutting approach where the economic, social and environmental aspects come together, urges the Commission to prepare a new and integrated framework for future EU transport policy.
The energy transition offers huge potential for cities and regions to pursue new, innovative, and effective policies at regional level. At the July plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Energy Union, stressed how important it was to link the EU's energy initiatives to regional policy and development and to strengthen cooperation between EU bodies and civil society.
The members of the EESC Section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure, and Information Society held a debate on the recently published a proposal for an implementing regulation on common methodology for alternative fuels unit price comparison in accordance with Directive 2014/94/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council. Mr Tricas Aizpun from the European Commission opened the debate with a presentation of the proposal, highlighting how a common methodology can facilitate a comparison between conventional and alternative fuel prices in an easy manner and thus help building consumer awareness about the relative prices using different fuels for vehicles.
Instead of being exclusively viewed as an instrument of environmental and climate policy, energy policy should directly serve regional development goals
The EESC supports the European Commission's initiative to create the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking and states that this key technology will help tackle the most challenging issues facing society today and will ultimately benefit our well-being, competitiveness and jobs.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) urges the Commission to be more rigorous in facilitating consumers' access to new, cleaner and affordable forms of mobility, and to introduce stronger financial support for public transport. The opinion on "Achieving low emission targets", which was adopted during last week's plenary session, discussed the Commission's proposal on how to effectively reduce gas emissions produced by road transport.
The second "Energy Day" organised by the EESC in Brussels, on 8 March 2018, looked at the forthcoming changes to the current Gas Directive. In its proposal, the European Commission maintains that gas pipelines from and to third countries should comply with the core principles of existing EU legislation. Some civil society organisations, though, highlight the uncertainty that this new text would bring in legal, commercial and environmental terms.