During the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, in September 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The EESC has been actively promoting an ambitious agenda for sustainable development, assisting with strengthening SDG implementation and involving the Committee's strong civil society organisation networks and acting as a platform for dialogue.
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In 2005 the Commission adopted the "Monti-Kroes package", updated in 2011 (the "Almunia package"), with key rules for services of general economic interest (SGEI) funding. The Commission declared its intention to carry out a review of this set of rules five years after their entry into force.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an own initiative opinion in order to contribute to the upcoming Commission review by taking a detailed look at experience with implementing the SGEI package.
The Energy Union is one of the ten priority work areas of the European Commission under the Presidency of Jean-Claude Juncker. The Energy Union strategy was launched in February 2015. The EESC has followed the Energy Union process closely. The Committee has produced as many as 22 opinions directly in response to the Energy Union initiative, ranging from general ones concerning the Energy Union construct to sectoral ones covering policy proposals in each of the five pillars.
The EU enjoys the status of a global trade powerhouse. It is thereby uniquely positioned to shape the development of a rules-based global trading system and influence its external growth.
Civil society has played a vital role in contributing to a more humane migration crisis management. Without the response of various NGOs, charities and individuals, the tragic humanitarian situation which has unfolded in many European countries could have been much worse. The EESC position on migration …
Transition to a circular economy is a must if we are to protect our planet, but also if we are to increase the competitiveness of European industry. This is a long-term process that will require numerous initiatives at European, national and regional level. Companies see the circular economy as an opportunity. "Going green" is beneficial not only for the environment, but also for businesses, providing real savings in terms of raw materials, water and energy.
Road transport is a crucial part of the European Union's single market and of its economy as a whole. At the same time, it is a vital economic sector in its own right, employing about 5 million people across the EU, generating close to 2% of EU GDP, and directly impacting on the quality of life of millions of European citizens. The EU road transport sector has developed significantly over the years, benefiting trade, the economy and freedom of movement. However, the success has had dark sides too and the sector today faces considerable challenges.
In 2011 the European Commission adopted the White Paper Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system in the context of the Union's 2020 growth strategy.
The general objective of this Roadmap is to define a long-term strategy to make the European Union (EU) transport system more efficient, safe and secure.
The economic potential of the digital economy, as one of the sectors that can boost Europe’s growth rate and create jobs, is undeniable. Digital competition is improving companies, making them more productive and competitive in a future global market. At the same time, information and communication technologies (ICT) can lower costs for both private companies and governments, increase access to new markets and facilitate business start-ups.
Switching from a linear (take-make-use-throw away) economy to an eco-design focused circular (make-use-reuse-remanufacturerepair) economy in which nothing is wasted is a critical challenge for Europe. It makes the economy more sustainable and reduces the environmental footprint through better resource management and reduced extraction and pollution; it also enables businesses to gain a competitive edge thanks to better management of raw materials, while making the economy less dependent on imported – potentially critical and rare – materials.