The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the EU body representing European civil society, firmly condemns Turkey's military operation in North-East Syria. As representatives of civil society, we are deeply concerned about the humanitarian costs of this intervention and urge the Turkish government to stop all military action immediately.
"An open economy and open society are key enablers of European prosperity, wellbeing and way of life" states the Helsinki Declaration on Open Europe. The declaration was signed by the EESC Employers' Group, the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK and Finland Chamber of Commerce during the conference "An open Europe – How does it benefit us all?" on 9 October in Helsinki, Finland.
- Would European countries have done so well if they had decided to go it alone instead of building an "ever closer union"?
- Can they face the huge challenges that rise before them – climate crisis, migration, digitalisation – by going each their own way?
- How can communication help drive home the argument that unity is strength?
- How to build a European public opinion capable of driving such debate?
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Following the proposal on the Irish backstop made by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently transmitted to Jean Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, the EESC President Luca Jahier and the Chair of the Brexit Follow-up Group Stefano Mallia have issued a joint declaration.
The EESC President
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Euroopa Majandus- ja Sotsiaalkomitee kuulutas välja konkursi 2019. aasta kodanikuühiskonna auhinnale. Käesoleva aasta teema on „Rohkem naisi Euroopa ühiskonnas ja majanduses” ning auhinnaga tunnustatakse innovaatilisi algatusi ja projekte, mille eesmärk on võidelda naiste ja meeste võrdsete võimaluste ja nende võrdse kohtlemise eest kõigis majandus- ja ühiskonnaelu valdkondades.
2019 is the year we are celebrating the ten-year anniversary of a real and living partnership – the Eastern Partnership (EaP). Over the last decade this partnership has gone through its share of difficulties. Yet, it not only endured - it developed, matured and delivered beyond what we foresaw at the beginning.
The EESC notes that the Global Compact is a non-binding instrument that does not create new obligations for EU Member States and its content is fully in line with the principles and values of the European Union, most notably Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union, which includes – as its main values – respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.
In this opinion, the EESC notes that the measures taken by the EU Member States to address the challenge of an ageing workforce remain isolated and their impact has not been gauged. Therefore, the EESC highlights the need for comprehensive strategies, to deal with the demographic and employment challenges in a holistically manner.
The Committee also issues concrete recommendations to encourage longer active working lives.
The Commission launched a debate on an enhanced use of qualified majority voting (QMV) in social policy to render decision-making more flexible and efficient. The EESC supports the transition to QMV in the areas of non-discrimination, social security and protection of workers, as well as for employment conditions of third-country nationals.
The EESC would like a vigorous SME-friendly initiative (Act Small First) to be implemented with a view to achieving this objective, and calls for the Think small first principle and the SME test to be evaluated. The goal here will be to make these tools more effective and to design SME-compatible legislation so that SMEs can develop within the single market on the basis of complete legal certainty...
The EESC welcomes the proposal to use the passerelle clauses to establish a qualified majority in the Council and a co-decision system with the European Parliament. In this new set-up, the EESC could play an important role in supporting the trilogue and should be involved.