On the 6th november 2014, the European Economic and Social Committee unanimously adopted its contribution to the European Commission's 2015 work programme. This 15-page document is full of very specific proposals and suggestions for improvement, and clearly sets out the areas where civil society expects the new team heading the Commission to be active in the coming year.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is the biggest and most ambitious free trade agreement currently being negotiated by the European Union. Economists believe that an agreement with the USA will be advantageous for both the European Union and the USA, and the negative effects of trade liberalisation will be insignificant. This publication is a summary of the debate on "What development opportunities does the TTIP bring to Europe?" that was held in Sopot on 2 October 2014 as part of the European Forum for New Ideas.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the EU economy. According to Commission estimates, the overall contribution of SMEs to EU-27 value added was more than 57% (EUR 3.4 trillion) in 2012. Although the role of SMEs in the EU economy is crucial and their well being should be a priority for European policymakers, they struggle with access to finance, especially in the countries severely hit by the crisis. The Greek experience can and should be taken as a case study and conclusions drawn on how to improve the system for the future.
In 2004 the European Union experienced its biggest enlargement so far, welcoming 10 new Member States. A decade later, members of the Employers' Group representing employers' organisations from these countries summarise the changes that have taken place thanks to accession to the EU.
Following the event in Strasbourg, the EESC has launched the Social Enterprise Project to identify policy ideas and specific measures that can be taken.
This study was carried out by the European Centre for Liberal Professions following a call for tenders launched by the European Economic and Social Committee
Energy is crucial for modern societies; the development of the economy is directly linked to its price and availability.
Today, Europe is highly dependent on external energy resources; in 2012 90% of its energy was imported. Yet the various political crises throughout the world (Ukraine, Iraq) remind us that this dependence makes Europe very vulnerable.
In order to minimise the effects of this, Europe must rely on a true energy mix. Diversification, both in terms of geography and energy sources, is crucial.
This publication is part of a series of catalogues published in the context of the exhibitions organized by the EESC.
This publication is a part of a series of catalogues published in the context of the exhibitions organized by the EESC.
Civil society organisations around Europe work every day – frequently on a voluntary basis – to build a fairer and more inclusive society. At the EU level, the European Economic and Social Committee represents their interests and aims to ensure that their efforts receive the recognition they deserve. With this in mind, the EESC launched its Civil Society Prize eight years ago in order to “reward excellence in civil society initiatives”.