Social enterprise is a key element of the European social model and fundamental for the success of the EU2020 strategy. By supporting and promoting social enterprise, Europe strengthens its growth and competitiveness potential and its capacity to create social value. The EESC supports the Commission's launch of a political framework and action plan to promote social enterprise in Europe. In its opinion, it stresses the importance of its implementation at both EU and Member State level as well.
With this highly political Opinion with interest for all involved stakeholders, but also for consumers or citizens in general, the EESC aims to reply to the questions set out in the Commission Green Paper. Through the Green Paper consultation, the Commission is trying to obtain a better understanding of the online gambling sector which is expanding rapidly, is cross-border in nature and is characterised by different national regimes being implemented by Member States.
A highly participated hearing was held in the framework of the second study group meeting to elaborate a well-balanced and more realistic opinion. This event had an enormous feedback in media.
The proposal for a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base spurs the debate among policymakers and stakeholders. Opinions diverge whether such a project would remove obstacles to the completion of the Single Market and reduce compliance cost - or if it would rather impose further red tape, raise compliance cost and take away tax sovereignty from national legislators. The EESC generally supports the Commission proposal, but certain aspects remain controversial among it's members.
The aim of this additional opinion is to put forward some examples or recommendations for prevention, insufficiently addressed in the new proposed directive on combating the sexual abuse of children. Preventive measures should be holistic, child-centred and happen as early as possible. The EESC calls on the European Commission to adopt and enforce a European Union Prevention Strategy Against Child Sexual Abuse. There are also many excellent initiatives of civil society actors to be endorsed. To that end the EESC has produced a database of best practice.
The EESC agrees that the 2050 vision goal of a greenhouse gas reduction of 60% in the transport sector, although very challenging, is in line with the EU's overall climate policy aims and that it strikes a reasonable balance between the need for quick reductions of greenhouse gases and the time needed to optimise energy efficiency in a single European Transport Area and develop new and sustainable fuels and propulsion systems in order to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
The Rio 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development must send out a clear signal to the world community, with specific proposals for the transition to an economic order based on qualitative economic growth that helps to eliminate poverty and social injustice whilst preserving natural resources for future generations.
The EESC is convinced that ensuring access to resources, food and energy should be amongst the priorities of the global sustainability agenda.
Policy measures and clear indicators must be established to measure progress on the road to greater sustainability.
It agrees with the Commission that the EU 2020 Strategy must pave the way for longer-term goals from now until 2050 and beyond. It wonders, however, why the Commission is coupling this flagship initiative with the EU 2020 Strategy, rather than putting it forward as a concrete expression of the sustainable development strategy, which would make much more sense.