Quality legislation - which meets clear policy objectives, balances relevant interests, is well-drafted and coherent, and as simple, easy to understand and implement as possible - is essential for any well-functioning society and for a strong democracy. As trade unionists, workers and citizens we know the pivotal role that legislation plays in guaranteeing our rights and freedoms, including providing the opportunity for redress when they are infringed either by employers, enterprises or the State. At the European level, there is an impressive framework of legislation aimed at protecting people's rights as workers, consumers and citizens, in the context of an ever deepening internal market which far too often is put in conflict with their interests.
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.
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).
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.