Effective integration of legal migrants and refugees will benefit Europe's labour markets, plagued by skills and labour shortages. If tackled properly, the migration challenge could be turned into a real opportunity not only for our economies but also for our society as a whole, participants in the European Migration Forum (EMF) concluded last week.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomes the European Commission's proposals regarding its Action Plan on VAT, which aim to modernise the EU Value Added Tax (VAT) system, at the same time calling for some modifications. It asks the Member States to do their utmost to implement the proposed reforms and move towards the definitive VAT system within a reasonable timeframe.
It proposes additional measures on communication, connectivity and civil society involvement.
On 22 November, participants in the 17th regional seminar of ACP-EU economic and social interest groups adopted a declaration highlighting the potential of the blue economy as a key factor for development in many eastern and southern African countries. The event, hosted by the EESC in Mauritius, was also an opportunity for civil society representatives to call for a greater role for civil society in the negotiation of Economic Partnership Agreements and bilateral Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements (SFPAs) and to acknowledge the role played by African and EU economic and social groups in the development of infrastructure.
The Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) have signed a new four year agreement which will enter into force as of 1 January 2016.
Protocol of cooperation between the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee
Addendum to protocol of cooperation between the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee
On 22 February 2012, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and EESC President Staffan Nilsson signed a new protocol on cooperation between the EC and the EESC, which replaces a seven-year-old cooperation agreement. The signing took place during the EESC plenary assembly in the presence of Maroš Šefčovič, Commissioner for Inter-Institutional Relations and administration.
On the 5th February 2014,Strasbourg, Martin Schulz, European Parliament President, Henri Malosse, European Economic and Social Committee President, and Ramon Luis Valcárcel Siso, Committee of the Regions President, signed an important agreement between their three institutions. Faced with a need to do more to listen to the views of the European public, as set out in the Treaty of Lisbon, the three institutions wished to step up their cooperation and optimise their resources so as to ensure a quality response to what is happening on the ground and thus improve the effectiveness of legislation.