The EESC believes that ensuring equal access to energy and the security of energy supply at affordable cost must be an absolute priority for the European Union (EU) and its Member States. It calls for the establishment of a broad and ambitious political coalition to analyse and address energy poverty from a holistic approach with the objective of bringing it to a minimum level by 2030 and eliminating it altogether in the long term. The actions of the coalition should be further developed in an EU Strategy against energy poverty. The EESC urges the EU to promote a common approach to energy poverty that will allow for a tangible and shared understanding of energy poverty and the collection of statistical data, taking into account Member States' differences and particularities.
In its opinion, the EESC insists on the need to invest in peoples' digital and financial literacy in order to enable consumers to correctly understand their rights and duties relating to financial contracts concluded at a distance, particularly the right to withdrawal from a contract and the right to obtain more information in a pre-contractual phase. The EESC also states that a balanced approach between the digital and the "brick and mortar" experience is crucial. In this respect, the EESC calls for the right to ask for "human intervention" in financial services at a distance to be guaranteed.
This opinion will assess the chances and challenges that SMEs face due to the green transition and will call the EU and the Member States to provide them with a favourable business environment, proper funding and support measures.
Crypto-assets are a digital representation of value or rights which may be transferred and stored electronically, using distributed ledger technology or similar technology (e.g. blockhain). They are neither issued nor guaranteed by a central bank or public authority, and can be used as a means of exchange and/or for investment purposes and/or to access a good or service. A wide range of crypto-assets exist, encompassing different features and functions, hence presenting different challenges and risks.
The EESC believes that the single market is essentially about achieving social and economic convergence aimed at reducing inequalities and ensuring that worsening social imbalances do not end up becoming serious obstacles to European integration. The EESC recommends a coordinated approach between Member States on the marketing of products affected by the crisis in Ukraine. The crisis caused by Russia’s aggression has created formidable supply restrictions. An "open strategic autonomy" should be adopted, especially in key sectors, to help build resilience, diversification and an ambitious trade agenda.