Press releases

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    New forms of employment contracts and relationships– including zero hour contracts, mini-jobs and work via online intermediaries – have proliferated since the financial crisis. While innovation and creativity must be encouraged, new forms of employment relationships have also increased uncertainty for many workers and this has led to an increasingly unequal labour market.

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    For nearly two years the large and unprecedented flow of refugees from war-torn or underdeveloped countries to the European Union has heavily impacted Europe's political and social life. Providing food and shelter for the masses of refugees reaching the EU, familiarise them with the new realities and cultural differences as well as supporting them through their integration process was and still is a major challenge which the concerned Member States could only face thanks to the spontaneous and overwhelming support of citizens and civil society in general.

    The EESC Civil Society Prize 2016 wishes to reward civil society organisations and/or individuals that have made a significant contribution in taking on this challenge by helping refugees and migrants and thus promoting European values and cohesion.

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    The EU-China Round Table's 14th meeting was hosted by the EESC in Brussels on 18-19 May 2016. The Round Table was set up in 2007 following a Decision taken by the 9th EU-China Summit, which acknowledged that the exchanges and cooperation between the EESC and its Chinese counterpart, the China Economic and Social Council (CESC), formed an integral part of the EU-China relationship. Topics on the agenda included ...

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    Labour mobility is a founding principle of the EU and one of the achievements most highly valued by European citizens. It must remain a cornerstone of Europe's internal market, says the EESC in its opinion adopted at the plenary session this week.

    Labour mobility can help to bring employment opportunities and prosperity to European citizens and companies. It means better use of skills and knowledge, boosting innovation and growth, and creating more culturally diverse societies.

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    In the debate with Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič the EESC stressed the importance of establishing an intelligent, efficient and sustainable EU external energy policy and the need for a shared vision – rather than mere technical/administrative reporting - to ensure that the Energy Union objectives are effectively pursued.

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    EESC calls for uniform and swift implementation of the Anti-tax-avoidance package in its opinion adopted today at the EESC plenary.

    Aggressive tax planning, a practice in particular used by some multinational corporations, is eroding tax bases in the EU member states by 50 to 70 billion Euro every year. The EU has finally decided to push for an end to this approach, often even seen as "legitimate" by tax avoiders. The EESC strongly supports the EU proposal for laying down rules against tax avoidance. However, it calls for a more rigorous stance towards tax avoiders, while at the same time safeguarding the EU's competitiveness through intense negotiations at the level of the OECD and the G20.

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    Weapons-related issues are always controversial. The recent tragic events in Europe have intensified the debate on the revision of the Directive on the control of the acquisition and possession of weapons, undertaken in the context of the European Agenda on Security. Public safety is increasingly under threat and there is a pressing need to take action to counter the ease with which people can get hold of firearms, which continue to fall into the hands of radical groups, criminal organisations and disturbed individuals.

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    A new EESC opinion calls for a stronger focus on integration policies and highlights best practice examples. If integration is successful it will lead to social cohesion, economic growth and job creation.

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    Nothing can escape today's digital revolution. The "internet of things", 3D printing, artificial intelligence, big data, online platforms and the sharing economy are bringing new businesses into the digital arena and create new opportunities for innovative SMEs and start-ups. The digital revolution is bringing about changes in modes of production and patterns of consumption, how we understand the world, and even how we live together as a society.

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    "The Aviation Strategy should create a better climate for investment to encourage EU investors. This will increase the competitiveness of the sector and its overall role for the economy and, in consequence, promote growth and jobs", said Jacek Krawczyk, EESC rapporteur for the Aviation Strategy. In his opinion, instead of searching for financing from outside the EU and giving away market share, EU aviation should expand to emerging markets with growth potential.