Press summaries


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  • Energy, including the infrastructure for the transport and distribution, cannot be treated like any other commodity: it is an essential building block of our economic and social system and thus a central part of the provision of public services. Therefore, energy supply is classified as a service of general interest. It is therefore necessary to create regulatory framework conditions for future energy that guarantee both an environmentally-friendly, affordable and reliable supply of energy and the right to energy.
  • The EESC welcomes the basic objective of the proposed Regulation to strengthen the monitoring and transparency of the wholesale energy markets. It underlines, continuous monitoring and analysis is required so that appropriate interventions and regulatory responses can be made in a timely manner on a sound basis. It also calls for proportionality in data reporting and the application of the once-only principle. The revision should aim at creating a transparent and non-discriminatory system, while avoiding a misuse of data collected.
  • The objective of providing European Union drivers with a digital driving licence also aims to put an end to differences and bureaucratic delays between the various Member States in processing applications from foreign drivers for exchanging foreign licences, which lead to obstacles to freedom of movement. This driving licence will be held on a mobile phone or any other digital device. The EESC supports this objective, but hopes that paper-based driving licences will remain available to drivers who wish them. Furthermore, for reasons related to the digital inclusion of all age groups, the EESC recommends personalised and free training and coaching on using new digital driving licences.


  • welcomes the Commission's idea of setting up a European hydrogen bank and thus creating incentives for the emergence of a hydrogen market. It stresses that fossil energy sources must not be supported with EU funds. The principle "do no harm" must therefore also be applied to funds related to the hydrogen bank. Hydrogen may only be financed with EU funds if the electricity used is generated from sources that are compatible with the Taxonomy Regulation and are considered to make a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions.
  • The EU needs to move beyond emergency fiscal responses and focus on structural changes to allow it to decouple from fossil fuels more quickly. To ensure its smooth and competitive economic development, the EU needs reliable and secure deliveries of affordable energy based on an integrated energy market with a large share of clean energy, which is resilient and able to face disruptions and shocks.

In particular the EESC:

  • supports the adoption and early implementation of the proposed regulation, which ensures adequate sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards for a transparent, streamlined and safe supply of the market of Northern Ireland from other parts of the UK;
  • acknowledges the significant effort made to reconcile the facilitation of procedures, to safeguard the integrity of the EU internal market and the protection of public animal and plant health;
  • urges the Commission to further clarify and provide solutions for the areas of more apparent divergence between SPS standards in the UK and the EU;

In particular, the EESC: 

  • supports the adoption and early implementation of the proposed regulation, which would ensure continuity of supply of medicinal products for human use in Northern Ireland;
  • agrees that it is essential that the proposed regulation contains a provision enabling suspension of the specific rules by the Commission in the event of the UK's non-compliance;
  • encourages ongoing consultation with key stakeholders to help ensure timely implementation as well as monitoring for any future risks to the delivery of the objectives of the proposed regulation;



To improve the digital competitiveness of EU businesses, the EESC recommends the following actions:

  • providing a favourable business environment;
  • addressing public concerns around cybersecuity;
  • investing in comprehensive, effective and secure digital infrastructure; 
  • investing in digital skills development. 
  • The EESC stresses that the Commission should look at successful national, regional and sectoral models of social dialogue and see why they worked so well;
  • points to the fact that the Recommendation does not include sectoral collective agreements as an important factor for improving collective bargaining coverage;
  • recommends establishing a common national framework for consultations with social partners, If the social partners are not meaningfully involved, the Commission should take action.