The EESC issues between 160 and 190 opinions and information reports a year.
It also organises several annual initiatives and events with a focus on civil society and citizens’ participation such as the Civil Society Prize, the Civil Society Days, the Your Europe, Your Say youth plenary and the ECI Day.
The EESC brings together representatives from all areas of organised civil society, who give their independent advice on EU policies and legislation. The EESC's326 Members are organised into three groups: Employers, Workers and Various Interests.
The EESC has six sections, specialising in concrete topics of relevance to the citizens of the European Union, ranging from social to economic affairs, energy, environment, external relations or the internal market.
The Committee points out that despite it promising opportunities, the on-going crisis means that ship owners and SMRC shipyards are facing financing bottlenecks making business conditions difficult for companies and ever greater competition from third countries. SMRC sub-sector should work closely with the maritime value chain with the aim of raising its profile and obtaining support from the EU, the Member States and regions.
The Committee believes that the following will be beneficial and useful for this sector:
• A broader and more active role for the EIB in the sector.
• The possible use of the Europe 2020 Project Bond.
• The allocation of regional funding for smart specialisation.
• Extension of the framework on authorised State aid until new rules are implemented.
• The prioritisation of EU RDI funding under Horizon 2020.
Given the ageing skilled workforce skill shortage amongst young people should be addressed
SMRC and newbuilding industry should carry out frequent and systematic consultations together with EMSA, with a view to ensuring that ships are safer and more environmentally-friendly and that they are monitored effectively.
New rules and requirements relating to advanced technologies and conversions associated with energy efficiency are an opportunity for SMRC. Putting IMO rules in practice, particularly the Ballast Water Management Convention, is of key importance for SMRC. They should be implemented in a proper and efficient way with clear expectations.
Medium-term (3 years) forecasts point to strong demand for ship recycling carried out in Europe. The SMRC sector has the facilities and human capital to carry out such projects in a not harmful way to humans or the environment. Ship recycling could be an increasingly strategic activity for European industry.