EESC plenary debate on 7 July 2021
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The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) calls for ambitious economic objectives to be set to strengthen the euro. This has become even more important given the pace of change in the global economy and the EU's current position in terms of innovation, competitiveness and fostering an investment-friendly regulatory environment.
The involvement of organised civil society is far from satisfactory in a majority of EU countries, warned the European Economic and Social Committee at the annual conference of its European Semester Group, which took place remotely on 31 May. This event was organised right before the publication of the European Semester Spring Package by the Commission, on the 2 June 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a slowdown in the activity of many economic sectors and, at the same time, is giving rise to a significant shift in the global balance of power. In this context, the EU is looking for an appropriate strategy to strengthen its role as a global economic player, with policies aimed at boosting the international role of the euro, strengthening the resilience of EU financial market infrastructures and improving the implementation of sanctions imposed on third countries.
In a debate at the EESC plenary session on 25 March, the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for an Economy that Works for People, Valdis Dombrovskis said that most of the national recovery and resilience plans (RRPs) are still at an early stage and that "there is still a lot of work to do before the plans are mature enough". He also stressed that trade policy has a key role to play in getting the EU economy back on track.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has adopted its position on the EU's economic priorities for 2021. It welcomes the steps taken in the strategy to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of the European Green Deal, but is disappointed that the strategy proposed by the European Commission devotes too little attention to social issues. It also warns against phasing out support measures too early and advocates establishing new fiscal rules that will reflect social and economic realities after the pandemic.
In its opinion on the Euro area's economic policy for 2021, the European Economic and Social Committee welcomes the Commission's recommendations, but calls for a shift in fiscal rules towards a more prosperity-oriented form of economic governance, including a golden rule for public investment.
The RRF is still under negotiation, but according to the EU institutions the involvement of civil society will be fundamental both in the design and implementation phases of the national recovery and resilience plans.
Habida cuenta del desastroso impacto social y económico de la crisis de la COVID-19, el CESE ha aprobado dos Dictámenes adicionales sobre la Estrategia Anual de Crecimiento Sostenible y sobre la política económica de la zona del euro.
- European Green Deal must lead to more economic prosperity and convergence
- Sustainable growth must be a top priority
- Measures to close the investment gap are essential