At its last plenary session, held on 17 October 2018, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an opinion aiming to improve the EU space programme's outcomes and raise its profile. The EESC supports the EU's efforts to remain a major independent space power, but calls for more investment in research, start-ups and business incubators as well as for a consistent application of the "European preference" principle. Clear emphasis should be placed on space mining research and the benefits that space activities could provide in terms of sustainable development.
Stakeholders stressed the importance of cohesion policy and the need for appropriate and effective funding
The EESC believes that the European Commission's Action Plan is a good basis but that additional measures are needed to tap the full potential of financial technology and to ensure certainty and protection for all market participants
In order to bridge the skills gap, we must first identify precisely which skills are needed for the future. This remains difficult, due to the rapid pace of change we are seeing today. Adaptation of education systems, development of lifelong learning systems and close cooperation between employers, policy-makers and academics are some of the ways to help people adapt their skills to the demands of future labour markets. These were among the conclusions reached at the conference on
Bridging the Skills Gap for Growth and Job Creation – the Business Perspective, which took place on 22 March 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Brexit, the next EU budget and the future of the single market are the core interests of the European employers' organisations. On 14 March 2018, representatives of BusinessEurope, EuroChambres and CEEP presented the priorities of their organisations for 2018 and discussed the issues with the members of the employers' group.
On 23 January, Italy's National Council for Economic Labour (CNEL) held a meeting, under the auspices of the European Economic and Social Committee, entitled "EFSI: a tool for growth". The conference had two aims: to promote the use of EFSI and to examine how this financial instrument could be useful in the period 2021-2027 in relation to the European Commission's priorities: research, Erasmus, cohesion policy, agriculture, Ten-T, defence and immigration.
The Employers' Group did not support the EESC opinion on driving and rest time periods, working time and posting of workers (TEN/637). For the Group, the opinion did not sufficiently reflect differences of views in the Committee concerning the Commission's proposal on the posting of workers.
The success of the new Industrial Strategy will depend on the way it is implemented. Business organisations are calling for a broad, horizontal approach to industrial policy – these are some of the conclusions of the seminar on Industrial Policy that took place on 18 December in Brussels. The participants of the discussion presented their views on a recent proposal by the European Commission on industrial policy.
A European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hearing has drawn up preventive measures and alternative approaches for future crises
The EU is ready for a digital revolution and for reaping its benefits – this was one of the conclusions of the conference on the Advantages of a Digital Society, which took place on 25 October 2017 in Tallinn, Estonia. The participants discussed various aspects of e-society and the Digital Single Market. Cyber security, societal trust, the free flow of data, the further development of infrastructure and getting rid of barriers hindering the Digital Single Market were just a few of the issues raised.