EMPRESA - Related Opinions
Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) face challenges in the area of digitalisation and access to artificial intelligence, but this segment can take great advantage of the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence.
The main objective of the opinion is to propose concrete measures which can be easily implemented in order to avoid MSMEs being “left behind” from the transition to artificial intelligence. The main issues to be addressed are: the use of new technologies to offer innovative products and services and strengthen Europe’s capacity to invest in disruptive innovations; create closer links in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) between universities and public administration, on the one hand, and businesses, in particular SMEs and micro-enterprises, on the other; support the MSMEs in recruiting and ensuring skills development for their employees to cope with the technological changes brought about by AI; facilitate the access to EU funding.
Micro enterprises and SMEs (MSME) in all fields need good conditions to survive the health and economic crisis and unlock their potential so that they can grow and create jobs. This opinion examines alternatives to address the administrative ("paper tax") burden on MSMEs, particularly in view of current transparency and disclosure measures to achieve the EU's social and environmental objectives.
In its opinion, the EESC supports the European Commission's proposal, given its major socio-economic importance for the region. The maintaining of the suspension of customs duties on imports of industrial products, as well as the extension of the product categories it covers, is considered to be beneficial for the Canary Islands' economy, which has suffered particular economic damage in comparison with other EU regions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in relation to domestic GDP volume.
In its own-initiative opinion, the EESC examines the extent to which existing EU company law currently serves as an "expedient" for the politically-desirable Green Deal and which gaps still need to be closed, in particular regarding corporate social responsibility obligations. The opinion aims at following-up on the European Commission's initiative on due diligence and broadening the debate on sustainable corporate governance interlinking the social, environmental and economic dimensions.
The liberal professions are already very successful in using digital and artificial intelligence applications for the benefit of their clients, and are at the forefront of their technological development. They must continue to be more closely enlisted in the development and validation process in future in order to ensure applications are usable in practice and effective. The liberal professions need to update the content of training in order to ensure their own IT and digital skills and those of their employees are of the highest possible quality standard. The creation of new professions made possible by digitalisation should be encouraged, on the basis of the criteria and principles set out in the Rome Manifesto.
The Communication stresses the EU's commitment to safeguarding an online environment providing the highest possible freedom and security, for the benefit of its citizens.
Europe is going through a green and digital transformation and the European institutions are committed to ensuring that people remain centre-stage and that the economy works for them.
The EESC welcomes the Commission proposal on cross-border payments in the Union aiming at lowering the costs for cross-border payments in euros and at bringing more transparency regarding currency-conversion fees. It endorses the fact that the Commission should analyse further possibilities – and the technical feasibility of those possibilities – of extending the equal charges rule to all Union currencies and of further improving the transparency and comparability of currency conversion charges.