On 23 January, Italy's National Council for Economic Labour (CNEL) held a meeting, under the auspices of the European Economic and Social Committee, entitled "EFSI: a tool for growth". The conference had two aims: to promote the use of EFSI and to examine how this financial instrument could be useful in the period 2021-2027 in relation to the European Commission's priorities: research, Erasmus, cohesion policy, agriculture, Ten-T, defence and immigration.
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The Employers' Group did not support the EESC opinion on driving and rest time periods, working time and posting of workers (TEN/637). For the Group, the opinion did not sufficiently reflect differences of views in the Committee concerning the Commission's proposal on the posting of workers.
The success of the new Industrial Strategy will depend on the way it is implemented. Business organisations are calling for a broad, horizontal approach to industrial policy – these are some of the conclusions of the seminar on Industrial Policy that took place on 18 December in Brussels. The participants of the discussion presented their views on a recent proposal by the European Commission on industrial policy.
A European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hearing has drawn up preventive measures and alternative approaches for future crises
The EESC notes that although economic recovery in the euro area has gathered pace since last year, it remains incomplete and atypical. It disagrees with the European Commission's proposal for an overall broadly neutral fiscal stance and instead proposes a positive fiscal stance of around 0.5% of GDP. It welcomes structural reforms that will not only increase productivity and growth potential, but also support the creation of quality jobs and reduce inequality. It supports the necessary steps for deepening the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), as well as the measures against tax fraud and tax avoidance.
The EU is ready for a digital revolution and for reaping its benefits – this was one of the conclusions of the conference on the Advantages of a Digital Society, which took place on 25 October 2017 in Tallinn, Estonia. The participants discussed various aspects of e-society and the Digital Single Market. Cyber security, societal trust, the free flow of data, the further development of infrastructure and getting rid of barriers hindering the Digital Single Market were just a few of the issues raised.
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.