Both a sustainable economic and social recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and the need to address effectively the climate change will require a massive expansion of investments. To achieve this, reshaping the EU fiscal rules is indispensable. Against this background, the Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion (ECO) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is currently working on an own-initiative opinion on Reshaping the EU Fiscal Framework for a Sustainable Recovery and a Just Transition.
Since 1984, the European Parliament has called for a Statute for a European association. EU institutions are increasingly recognising the social, economic and civic impact of European association networks and national NGOs in the current difficult context with rising social tensions and polarisation. In addition, the EU institutions are also concerned about the shrinking civic space in Europe.
To feed into the opinion, a remote public hearing will gather the institutional and civil society views on the proposal and possibly collect ideas to make it stronger.
In the framework of the additional opinion on "The Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy 2021", the European Semester Group of the ECO section will organise a public hearing to discuss semester related developments since the original opinion was adopted in February 2021. The event will focus on the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs) and collect views of various organisations, national Economic and Social Councils, EU bodies and think tanks on the topic. With this opinion the EESC aspires to contribute to the 2022 European Semester cycle and this hearing is part of a stock taking and forward looking exercise from a civil society perspective.
On 6 September 2021, the EESC's Labour Market Observatory will hold a remote public hearing on collective bargaining practices in Member States with a low labour union participation rate.
The number of live 5G networks has increased significantly in Europe and outside Europe since the beginning of 2019. The result of a 2020 Deloitte study on 5G technology shows that 39% of participants believe that 5G is safe for health, while 21% believe that 5G is harmful, and 40% have doubts.
The European Economic and Social Committee is currently preparing an own initiative opinion on Anticipation of structural and sectoral change and reshaping industrial cultures – up to new borders of recovery and resilience in the different parts of Europe. Within the EESC, the Consultative Commission on Industrial Change is responsible for the preparation of the opinion. In order to gain insights by experts from relevant sectors of civil society, the Rapporteur (Norbert Kluge), Corapporteur (Dirk Jarré) and President (Emilie Prouzet) of the Study Group that is drafting the opinion have decided to organize a hearing with civil society representatives.
To prepare its own-initiative opinion "Emergency measures to support employment and income during the pandemic crisis", the EESC is organising a public hearing on 15 July 2021 am. to gather input from other EU institutions, national authorities, social partners, civil society and experts.
We will debate the following questions:
- What lessons can be drawn from the implementation of SURE and other emergency measures in recent months?
- To what extend are SURE and other emergency measures to support unemployment benefit schemes part of the RRP in the short and medium term and which groups have benefited from them?
- Are there any best practices to be shared and what challenges should be addressed?
As in previous years, the European Economic and Social Committee, as the body representing organized civil society at the EU, will be following the High Level Political Forum (HLPF), from Tuesday, 6 July, to Thursday, 15 July 2021. The HLPF is the United Nations central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.
To deliver on the European Green Deal, the European Commission will have to rethink policies in a variety of fields, not least in the agri-food sector. The initiatives linked to agri-food promotion, the renewal of the CAP and the "Farm to the fork" strategy will transform our current reality to achieve a more socially sustainable, environmentally friendly and healthy food production. To make this socio-economic transition a success, it is essential to involve all stakeholders in the reorganization of the European food markets.
The EESC Employers' Group believes that we should provide entrepreneurs with the adequate conditions so that they can thrive and create innovative and decent jobs in a recovering economy. The EESC Employers' Group can play a critical role in creating an enabling and encouraging business environment also for the agri-food sector that meets the challenges and seizes the opportunities of sustainable development.
On 13 July 2021, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) will hold a public side-event in the context of the United Nations' High Level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF), an annual space to review commitment and progress made on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which will be held from 6th to 15th July 2021 in New York.