The absence of economic and social convergence among Member States and regions is a threat to the political sustainability of the European project and all the benefits it has brought to European citizens. Developing economic and labour market resilience with economic, social, environmental and institutional sustainability should be the principle guiding policies. This will foster upwards convergence and fairness in the transition towards a climate-neutral economy while managing the challenges posed by digitalisation and demographic change.
The EESC welcomes the CEF's support for clean, low-carbon transport and sustainable energy structures, as well as the attention given to energy vulnerability. However, the Committee would like to see more financial resources allocated to the CEF.
It will be possible to meet the expectations of city "users" – inhabitants, businesses, visitors and administrators – thanks to digital service ecosystems overlaying high-quality material and immaterial enabling infrastructure. Establishing this infrastructure will also have a significant impact in terms of growth, employment and productivity.
The Mid-term evaluation of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is one of the evaluations on which the Commission is consulting the EESC.
The CEF was proposed as a financing programme for the completion of trans-European infrastructure networks in the fields of transport, energy and information and communications technology (ICT).
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomes the opportunity to take part in the evaluation of the CEF programme. Transport, energy and ICT are also the core of the EESC Smart Islands Project. Therefore, the EESC's response is based on the above mentioned project, which analyses primary data collected through fact-finding missions taking place in the EU in the course of 2015 and 2016.
Stakeholders stressed the importance of cohesion policy and the need for appropriate and effective funding
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has adopted at its March plenary session an opinion on the Joint Communication "Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks for an EU Strategy", issued by the European Commission and the EU High Representative in September 2018. The EESC considers it to be a seriously missed opportunity, with many significant strategic gaps, little ambition and no real depth of vision offered as to the development of EU's relationship and connectivity with Asia.
On 16 September, the Diversity Europe Group held its Extraordinary meeting in Helsinki (Finland) - at the Auditorium (Annex Building of the Parliament).
The meeting entitled Boosting EU competitiveness – 3 pillars for sustainable growth will mainly focussed on bioeconomy and climate neutral Europe, digitalization and infrastructure in transport sector.
The event seeks to foster the debate of cross-cutting topics that have emerged from the EESC's recent work on the "Clean Energy for All Europeans" package, namely governance, empowering consumers, financing the energy transition, greening the economy, and the future (progress) of the Energy Union
The public hearing on "Towards a more resilient and sustainable European economy with a vision for completing EMU" to be held on Friday, 12 April 2019, starting at 11.30 a.m., will discuss from a wider civil society perspective the future of the European economy and the political initiatives and decisions that need to be taken during the upcoming legislative term and beyond. Taking into account the conclusions of the debate, the EESC will draw up two own-initiative opinions, entitled "Towards a more resilient and sustainable European economy" and "A new vision for completing the Economic and Monetary Union", to be forwarded to the new European Parliament and European Commission.