Corruption in public procurement and its impact on the internal market - Related Opinions
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The EESC thinks that, in addition to strengthening the coordination between supervisory authorities and streamlining procedures, operations should also be coordinated with other relevant parties to tackle money laundering and terrorism financing effectively. The EESC stresses the importance of internal and external communication on money laundering and financing of terrorism. The key element in internal communications is improving and protecting information streams between the supervisory bodies concerned; in the case of external communication, the public in question should be provided with information and made aware of the different ways this kind of crime may be presented, as a means of preventing and preparing for it.
The EESC welcomes the proposal for economic corrective measures regarding Member States that commit serious violations of the rule of law in Europe, and recommends that the interdependence between democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law is better reflected. The Commission should develop further channels for debate on Article 2 TEU values, and should include the EESC in this work. The EESC reiterates its call for the creation of a system of regular and independent monitoring of the implementation of these values in the Member States.
The Communication presents a public procurement strategy which sets out the overall policy framework and defines clear priorities to improve procurement in practice and support investment within the EU. Three concrete initiatives are presented alongside this strategy. The Commission presents a Communication on a mechanism for large infrastructure projects to provide clarity and guidance to public authorities on public procurement. It also proposes a Recommendation to professionalise public buyers because a skilful workforce is essential for effective implementation. In parallel, a targeted consultation is launched on a draft guidance on public procurement of innovation, to support the breakthrough of new and more sustainable solutions for our societies.
Impact of the social dimension and the European Pillar of Social Rights on the Future of the European Union
Delivering on balanced economic growth and social progress should be the guiding principle for the debate on the social dimension of Europe. A clear road map for the implementation of European Pillar of Social Rights is advisable with clear assignment of tasks coupled with accountability. The social dimension debate is connected to the debate on deepening the EMU. Social policy has to be embedded in a different EU economic policy. A strong EU can shape globalisation and digitalisation to the benefit of all.
Alarming political decisions have shown that the EU lacks adequate instruments to safeguard fundamental values and the rule of law. A new European mechanism on the rule of law and fundamental rights is needed. The mechanism should include a regular assessment of Member States in a governance "policy coordination cycle", similar to the European Semester. The EESC should play an active role, as this will make for strong civil society involvement. The mechanism must be based on indicators, taking into account the indivisibility of fundamental economic, social and cultural rights and civil and political rights.
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