On 22 November, participants in the 17th regional seminar of ACP-EU economic and social interest groups adopted a declaration highlighting the potential of the blue economy as a key factor for development in many eastern and southern African countries. The event, hosted by the EESC in Mauritius, was also an opportunity for civil society representatives to call for a greater role for civil society in the negotiation of Economic Partnership Agreements and bilateral Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements (SFPAs) and to acknowledge the role played by African and EU economic and social groups in the development of infrastructure.
EESC debate takes stock and discusses steps to take
Over the decade since the Treaty of Lisbon came into force, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has played a key role in encouraging a more participatory democracy in the EU and enabling people to have a greater say in the policies that affect their lives, including through the European Citizens’ Initiative.
EESC conference warns against fragmentation of the Single Market and calls for upskilling Europe's work force
An EESC conference on the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies discussed the most pertinent issues that will shape the medium to long-term future of Europe. It particularly looked at the future of manufacturing and service industries and the necessary changes in our society. Moreover, it reflected on strategic options for Europe moving forward.
A delegation of members of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) visited three Finnish technological hubs to assess the potential benefits and dangers of artificial intelligence for our society. They stressed that all future developments must encompass three pillars: product safety, consumer trust, and solidarity in health and social care.
The European Economic and Social Committee, in collaboration with the French Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Social Economy and the city and Eurometropole area of Strasbourg, is organising the 4th European Day of Social Economy Enterprises on the theme of Social economy: Involving regions and civil society. Pact for Impact for the European Union.
To mark the European Week of Waste Reduction, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) gave the initiative its full support and called for a cultural shift to reduce waste production in the EU. The EESC has undertaken a number of initiatives to reduce its own waste production and has addressed this topic in several opinions, as well as being a key partner in the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform.
Nationality is a bond between a citizen and a state, whether by birthright or by naturalisation. However, in recent years several EU Member States have set up investor citizenship and residence schemes to attract investment. According to an opinion adopted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) at its October plenary session, this practice poses serious risks and should be banned in all EU Member States.
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.
EESC calls for strong EU budget commitment matched by Member State and private investment
The EESC wants to see the roll-out of the European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS) speeded up and proposes a Commission-led initiative to raise the EUR 100 billion investment needed. It is calling on social partners and governments to ensure a smooth and socially just transition by anticipating the impact of automation and digitalisation, including on educational needs. Safety considerations must play a part in all planning and implementation.