The central message of this exploratory opinion is the need for a coordinated approach on renewable energies in the region, one that is based on co-development.
The revised SBA for Europe marks a decisive new stage in the political recognition of SMEs and above all of micro-enterprises. This EESC opinion recommends that the European institutions, Member States and the regions adopt it as the basis for their SMEs policies as well as for their economic and industrial policies. It insists on recognising the SBA's "Think Small First" principle when drafting legislation for SMEs. The EESC notes that the SBA will not succeed unless a genuine "multi-stakeholder and multilevel governance partnership" is established where economic and social partners and all representative public and private stakeholders are involved in political discussions concerning SMEs.
The Commission communication represents a fundamental policy instrument for people with disabilities. The EESC welcomes the European Disability Strategy, as an active policy instrument to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The EESC believes that the UN Convention sets a clear framework that allows people with disabilities to contribute to the realisation of their potential, and calls for the EU to take the next and equally important steps of ratifying the Optional Protocol and of ensuring that existing and future secondary legislation respect the Convention.
The EESC welcomes the Commission document COM(2011) 25 final Tackling the Challenges in Commodity Markets and on Raw Materials and The European raw materials' initiative (RMI) as an important step to tackle this vital issue.
EESC thus urges the EC to monitor the situation in international trade of critical raw materials (as listed in COM(2011) 25 final and with regular updating of this list). In addition, we endorse the need to continue in negotiation at the international level (WTO) to promote free trade also in commodity markets.
The EESC urges a more active foreign policy regarding security of raw materials for EU industry.
The raw material policy must form an integral component of the EU industrial policy.
The EESC thinks that the creation of a strategic stockpile of critical raw materials is among the potential solutions.