October 2019 marked one year since the launch of the 2018 updated European Bioeconomy Strategy, which put forward an action plan to develop a sustainable and circular bioeconomy. To mark the occasion, and to find out what is happening with local bioeconomies, the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Committee of the Regions and the European Commission held an event to take stock of progress and to find out what is planned for the next few years.
On 15 October, the Consumers and Environment Category of the EESC held its public event on the topic 'New EU goals and policies for sustainable development - Joint perspective of consumers and environmentalists'.
At its hearing of 14 October, the Study Group on the Inclusion of the Roma will be discussing the housing situation of the Roma and how to better tackle the ongoing segregation they are still facing today.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and Serbia held the 9th meeting of their Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) in the House of Human Rights in Belgrade. This civil society platform between the EESC and civil society in Serbia was established within the institutional framework of the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) in order to allow civil society organisations on both sides to monitor the country's accession negotiations. It is also a platform to discuss issues of common interest and to inform the public at large of the challenges ahead during the accession period. Besides the current state of play in EU-Serbia relations and the accession process, main topics of the 9th JCC meeting were Rule of law and functioning of democratic institutions and overview of the social dialogue situation in Serbia. A common declaration of the JCC was issued after the meeting.
- Would European countries have done so well if they had decided to go it alone instead of building an "ever closer union"?
- Can they face the huge challenges that rise before them – climate crisis, migration, digitalisation – by going each their own way?
- How can communication help drive home the argument that unity is strength?
- How to build a European public opinion capable of driving such debate?
Follow the debate on Twitter live @EESC_PRESS
The Workers' Group is organising an extraordinary meeting in Finland, Helsinki, on the occasion of the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The conference aims to elaborate the role of the openness of the economy and society in building a business-friendly and strong EU. The timing of the conference, coinciding with the start of the new mandate of the European Commission and the European Parliament, would make it possible to convey a strong business message to policy-makers both at the EU and national levels. The conference also provides the participants with an opportunity to discuss and exchange views on the topics in question with a wide range of stakeholders.
As productivity continues to increase, providing highly-specialised and certified-quality products becomes ever more important for boosting economic well-being, more so than mass low-cost production. Moreover, the increasing focus on the integrated use-value of products and services now offsets the emphasis on the exchange value - the price.
This development is particularly advantageous for European producers: our competitiveness relies on our ability to provide diverse, specialised products, rather than on competing on price against regions with more extended economies of scale.
The conference highlighted the position taken by the EESC in its opinion on the Reflection Paper "Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030", which was due for adoption in September 2019. The event provided concrete and constructive recommendations to the new European Commission and the new European Parliament.
The 12th meeting of the EU Advisory Group for the EU-Colombia, Peru and Ecuador Free Trade Agreement took place on 2 October 2019 in Brussels. Please click on the programme tab to consult the topics on the agenda.