While the risk of cyber attacks is growing, most European companies are still unprepared and unaware of the risk. This was highlighted in a recent study commissioned by the European Economic and Social Committee. Small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) are the most exposed, as they often cannot afford to invest adequately in cybersecurity. The level of investment in cybersecurity overall is insufficient. Most businesses do not realise its importance until after experiencing a security breach.
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires more than political commitment, says the European Economic and Social Committee. Increased investment, especially by the private sector, is needed to address current economic, social and environmental challenges. The Committee therefore advises the EU and its Member States to adjust their investment and tax policies to enhance growth prospects, and thereby private sector contributions, to accomplishing the SDGs.
On 30 March 2017, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an opinion on the European Commission's proposed directive on business insolvency, which is intended to harmonise preventive restructuring procedures across Europe. While fully supporting the Commission's shift from liquidation to early restructuring in dealing with business insolvency, the EESC proposes a set of measures to help prevent its social damages.
Nothing can escape today's digital revolution. The "internet of things", 3D printing, artificial intelligence, big data, online platforms and the sharing economy are bringing new businesses into the digital arena and create new opportunities for innovative SMEs and start-ups. The digital revolution is bringing about changes in modes of production and patterns of consumption, how we understand the world, and even how we live together as a society.
The European Economic and Social Committee is organizing a hearing as part of its follow-up work on its opinion on ''A European retail sector fit for the 21st century'', which was adopted in December 2018.
The event will take place on 26 September 2019 in Brussels. It is part of a series of follow-up hearings to be held in several EU Member States.
The main objective of the hearing will be to discuss the effectiveness and efficiency of EU retail policies and to collect valuable input and feedback from Belgian stakeholders on the issue in order to find ways to improve these policies. Particular emphasis will be placed on the recommendations presented in the EESC opinion with a view to their implementation at national level.
On 10 April 2020, the European Economic and Social Committee, in cooperation with the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization are organising a joint high-level conference on opportunities for SMEs in the digital single market, which will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria.
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.
Round Table "Just Transition Fund: Transition Challenges from the de-lignitisation in Western Macedonia" organised on 30-31 March 2020 in the Region of Western Macedonia (Ptolemaida) in Greece.
The EESC, in cooperation with the Federation of Traders, Producers and Entrepreneurs of Central-East Macedonia and Thrace and the Thessaloniki’s Traders Association, will be organising a hearing as part of its preparatory work in order to issue a rigorous, qualitative own-initiative opinion on "The potential of family and traditional businesses to boost the development and economic growth in the regions".
Public Hearing: How effective is EU legislation for SMEs in Sweden?
22 February 2018, Europahuset, Regeringsgatan 65, Stockholm, 9:30-13:00.
The hearing is part of the EESC follow-up work related to its opinion on Improving the effectiveness of EU policies for SMEs, adopted in July 2017.
The main objective of the hearing was to debate the effectiveness and efficiency of EU policies for SMEs and gather valuable input and feedback from Swedish stakeholders on the matter with a view to finding ways in which they can be improved. Particular emphasis was put on the recommendations that have been outlined in the EESC opinion with the aim of implementing them at national level.