As renewed calls to set out EU-wide common standards for NGOs and associations gain momentum, civil society organisations have high hopes of the new European statute for associations, which will give NGOs and associations recognition at EU level and allow them to operate across borders, a right they do not currently enjoy – unlike their for-profit counterparts
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The European Economic and Social Committee backs up the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative of the European Commission. The initiative is aimed at promoting investment in the healthcare systems of the European Member States and other sectors of their economies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, the EU would mobilise cash reserves, i.e. unspent pre-financing for EU funds, and provide financial support.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) suggests that the EU should develop a certification for trustworthy AI applications, to be delivered by an independent body after testing the products for key requirements such as resilience, safety, and absence of prejudice, discrimination or bias. The proposal has been put forward in two recent EESC opinions assessing the European Commission's ethical guidelines on AI.
The EESC draws forward-looking conclusions from the 2019 Semester and the Committee's civil society consultations in the Member States
Having SME policy as a horizontal priority is an indispensable way to address numerous, cross-cutting challenges that they are currently facing. Current trends cause bigger challenges for SMEs than for bigger companies. Therefore, it is high time for policy makers to act upon it. This was discussed at the conference "Placing European SMEs at a horizontal priority in post-2020 policy making process". The conference took place on 24 October 2019 in Chania, Greece and was organised by the Employers' Group, Chania's Traders Association and the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship.
"An open economy and open society are key enablers of European prosperity, wellbeing and way of life" states the Helsinki Declaration on Open Europe. The declaration was signed by the EESC Employers' Group, the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK and Finland Chamber of Commerce during the conference "An open Europe – How does it benefit us all?" on 9 October in Helsinki, Finland.
The 25th anniversary of the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, in force since 1994, was the main topic of the EEA Consultative Committee meeting that took place on 23 and 24 May. This committee, which represents employers, workers and other civil society players of EEA member states, insisted on the importance of completing the internal market and taking into account its social dimension.
The single market has been a great achievement. The EU needs to make sure citizens are aware that many of the very real benefits they have enjoyed in the past 25 years as consumers, business owners or workers are the result of the single market. This will help rally the support needed to make it fit for the digital era, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) argues in its response to the European Commission's assessment of the state of play of the single market.
A fair, competitive and sustainable business environment that encourages enterprises to grow innovate, invest and trade – this is what representatives of the European employers ask from the next European Commission and Member States. The participants of the European Entrepreneurship Forum taking place in Bucharest agreed that it is time for a political recognition of SMEs – shifting from "think small first" approach to "act small first" principle.
The government, representatives of organised civil society and other interest groups call for fresh impetus for the European Union