Stakeholders stressed the importance of cohesion policy and the need for appropriate and effective funding
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The Diversity Europe Group recently organised a structured brainstorming session aiming at encouraging its Members to think out of the box and to come up with ideas to feed into proposals for the Sibiu Summit on the Future of Europe. This session kick-started our Group's contribution to the EESC Roadmap 'From Cracow to Sibiu and beyond'.
The European economy loses over 2% of productivity per year due to a mismatch of skills, according to a recent study commissioned by the European Economic and Social Committee. This means a loss of 80 eurocents for each hour of work. The situation will get even worse in the future due to demographic trends and ongoing technological developments, if no reforms are undertaken.
This report was prepared by the Institute for Market Economics (IME) and is dedicated to the study of skills mismatches in the EU and their effect on the competitiveness of EU businesses. It includes a comprehensive review of existing literature on the issue and outlines some of the main conclusions regarding the relation of skill mismatches to education, personal and aggregate productivity, labour market dynamics and outcomes, innovation capacity and competitiveness.
The EESC welcomes and endorses the rationale behind the establishment of the Reform Support Programme. However, the EESC believes that, in order to launch the programme successfully and obtain the expected benefits, better responses are needed to a number of still open questions.
The EESC considers the proposed European Investment Stabilisation Function (EISF) as a step towards closer euro area integration, and possibly an attempt to encourage non-euro Member States to join the single currency. However, the EESC is of the view that a well-crafted union-wide insurance scheme that acts as an automatic stabiliser amidst macroeconomic shocks would be more effective than the proposed EISF.
The EESC welcomes the fact that the package of regulations on the future multiannual financial framework includes the InvestEU proposal to strengthen investment activity in the EU, including long-term investment projects that are of high public interest, while also respecting the sustainable development criteria. In order to guarantee that this programme operates successfully, the Committee underlines the importance of the involvement of civil society organisations and social and economic partners. The EESC appreciates the European Commission's efforts to create an umbrella financial instrument by the InvestEU programme that will result in unified management, enhanced transparency and potential for synergies. The EESC appreciates the fact that, in addition to promoting sustainable infrastructure, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and research and innovation, the InvestEU programme also focuses on social investment and skills.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has used an own-initiative opinion to call for sufficient funding resources to be put in place for implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights. Adopted at its plenary session on 19 April 2018, the opinion calls for improvements in the Member States and a robust commitment in terms of budget, investment and current spending to make the Social Pillar a reality.
High-level conference on "The Multiannual Financial Framework post 2020: Challenges and opportunities" with the participation of representatives from the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council presidency.
This document provides a summary of the discussion entitled "Bridging the skills gap for growth and job creation", which was held in Sofia (Bulgaria) on 22 March 2018. The conference was organised by the Employers' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee together with the Association of the Organizations of the Bulgarian Employers. The seminar was included in the calendar of meetings of the Bulgarian Presidency to the Council of the EU.