The EESC is convinced that islands, mountainous regions and sparsely populated areas face significant challenges and that there is a solid legal basis that obliges the EU to take action in order to tackle these challenges. In this context, the organised civil society has an important role to play and through this debate, the aim is to find the best practices and solutions so that these regions can perform better and recover from the multiple crises. Therefore the EESC- ECO section has decided to organise this public debate in the framework of the EESC own-intiative opinion on "Main challenges that EU islands, mountain and sparsely populated areas face.
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Insularity is considered to be a permanent and unchangeable geographical feature which involves additional costs (transport, energy, waste management, public services, necessity goods and services) that hamper the development and competitiveness of the islands, while particularly exposing them to biodiversity loss and climate change. The organised civil society has an important role to play and tackle all these challenges and through this debate. The aim is to find the best practices and solutions so that EU islands can preform better and recover from the multiple crises.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) will be producing an own-initiative opinion on the main challenges faced by EU islands and mountainous and sparsely populated areas, which is scheduled for adoption at the EESC's September plenary session. In this context, the EESC, along with the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) and the North Sweden European Office (NSEO), will be holding a public hearing in Umeå (Sweden) on 4 May 2023 entitled "Challenges and opportunities that the digital and energy transitions present to the northern sparsely populated areas and islands. How can these regions become drivers for growth and development?". The hearing is an event under the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU.
With this debate, the ECO section is providing ex-ante input to the European Commission, in preparation for the upcoming 2023 strategic foresight cycle that wants to shed light on the strategic decisions needed to ensure a socially and economically sustainable Europe with a stronger role in the world in the coming decades.
In the context of a constantly evolving economic environment and high uncertainty, the ECO section organises a conference to have an open and inclusive debate with policy-makers, civil society representatives and economic researchers to inform and influence the economic policy debates at EU and national levels.
The market of crypto assets continues to grow, bringing with it both opportunities and challenges. Whilst it is important to harvest the potential the technological innovations offer, the associated risks have to be closely monitored. The hearing will take stock of new developments in the crypto sector, raise awareness, and come up with policy proposals to tackle emerging risks, in order to protect consumers and preserve financial stability.
Restoring sustainable carbon cycles initiative builds on the European Climate Law committing the European Union to the objective of climate-neutrality by balancing Union-wide greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and removals by 2050 at the latest.
The aim of the conference was to discuss the opportunities and challenges provided by digitalisation, in particular cutting-edge digital tools, AI and robotics as well as the prerequisites to make this happen. It also addressed expectations for future steps of policy making on the European Level.
This public debate, titled "Beyond GDP: Measuring people's well-being and societies' progress", with Ms Martine Durand, OECD Chief statistician and Co-chair of the High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress will be held on Tuesday, 4 June 2019, starting at 14.30 p.m. The aim of the debate is to explore the opportunities for the civil society to more actively support the development and implementation of socio-economic indicators alternative to GDP. The report of the HLEG, 'Beyond GDP: Measuring What Counts for Economic and Social Performance' will serve as a starting point for the discussion.
The public hearing on "Towards a more resilient and sustainable European economy with a vision for completing EMU" to be held on Friday, 12 April 2019, starting at 11.30 a.m., will discuss from a wider civil society perspective the future of the European economy and the political initiatives and decisions that need to be taken during the upcoming legislative term and beyond. Taking into account the conclusions of the debate, the EESC will draw up two own-initiative opinions, entitled "Towards a more resilient and sustainable European economy" and "A new vision for completing the Economic and Monetary Union", to be forwarded to the new European Parliament and European Commission.
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