In its opinion, the EESC calls for physical and digital completion of the internal market to be on an equal footing and for a high level of consumer protection to be achieved. It calls for greater durability of goods, access to sustainable products, a clean, circular, more climate-friendly economy and efficient use of products, as well as combating of planned obsolescence and the right to repair goods and products.
The EESC shares the Commission's view on the strategic importance of payments and that further work is needed to enable payment transactions within the single market using new home-grown, pan-European payment solutions. It also supports the view that the Commission should act as a political catalyst, whilst it is the private sector that should design the innovative digital payment solutions. The EESC believes that relevant market players should be subject to appropriate legislation, supervision and oversight, ensuring a level playing field among those offering the same services and activities.
In its opinion, the EESC points out that implementing the single window environment for customs will take trade in goods into the new digital age through simplification and automation. Trade generally in the EU will grow, the Union will become more competitive, and customs will be modernised.
The EESC welcomes the new vision for the ERA agenda and is pleased that this is a real "New Deal" for the EU's research, technology and innovation.
Tuairim ó CESE: A new European Research Area (ERA) for research and innovation
On 9 September 2020, the European Commission adopted its first annual Strategic Foresight Report, presenting Commission’s strategy to integrate strategic foresight into EU policy-making. Strategic foresight aims to identify emerging challenges and opportunities to better steer the European Union's strategic choices and to inform major policy initiatives. It will support the Commission in designing future-proof policies and legislation that serves both the current needs and longer-term aspirations of European citizens.
The pandemic expedited the shift to teleworking, and it became essential in tackling the health crisis. Lessons learned from the pandemic could lead to regulations in the EU and in the Member States be amended and new regulations created so as to promote the positive aspects of telework and protect the fundamental rights of workers. The Member States, with the involvement of the social partners, need to ensure that there is an appropriate national framework for teleworking, setting out the rules of play for companies and workers interested in adopting this form of work.
In its opinion, the EESC welcomes the very concrete Action Plan for the next five years to support national customs authorities. Once implemented, with regular impact assessments, it will lead to real modernisation of customs across the EU.